All the Blues I’ve Ever Known

by Rebecca Slater

All the blues I’ve ever known
add up to this –
this single perfect blue
which is really a thousand blues,
bottled up like the beachedblue glass
on my mother’s mantelpiece,
my father’s bluebuttoned shirt
stained from Sunday afternoons
painting my brother’s blue-walled bedroom –
a boyish bias, ever since that
blue plastic beach bucket
Blue Thomas train set –
those endless blue mornings,
staring down at the tileblue bottom –
bluebeating feet, bluewater lips –
the blue swimmer crab pulled into
my grandfather’s boat,
the blue fish brooch
pinned to my grandmother’s
deadblue breast
her Winnie Blue breath
floating like fog
across the Clarenceblue mornings –
blueink crosswords and
bluebellied lorikeets
on the outback veranda
all this –
the bloodblue bruises
from my first blue bicycle,
the muddyblue fingers
from my mother’s mulberry tree
– this
in a single blue moment
as I look up to the island skies
and say goodbye.

‘All the Blues I’ve Ever Known’ was recently announced as a runner-up of Oriel College’s Gower Memorial Prize. She says, ‘”All the Blues I’ve Ever Known” is a is a poetic response to my hometown, Sydney, which I recently left to pursue my studies in literature and writing at Oxford University’.

The Poor Print

The Oriel College Student Newspaper. Run by students, with contributions from the JCR, MCR, SCR, Staff. Current Executive Editors: Monim Wains and Martin Yip

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