History Disrupted


History disrupted


The Singer machine

my mother’s hands

the bobbin the pedal

frayed threads on denim


her eyes tiny buttons

unseeing beyond

metres and metres

just to sew me


a clean life of ink and

cloistered hallways

where dead white males

ghost through all ages:


Banquo’s looking glass

a modern ermine trail

of blue-tinged pale kings

to the last of days…


lest you forget we own this land

our father his father and his

before were here already

carved and divided


so if you want a patch

to seed your hopes

better prick your thumbs woman

back to the needle the whirr


only from your blood



your child will fatten


outgrow this box

stealth across barriers

purloin sceptres

and disrupt history.

Thuy On

Author: Thuy On

Thuy On is a freelance arts journalist/critic who has written for a range of publications including The Age, The SMH, The Australian, Books + Publishing, ArtsHub, and The Saturday Paper. She's been the Books Editor of The Big Issue for the last 7 years. She's also an emerging poet whose work has been published in Mascara Literary Journal, Lor Journal, Djed Press, Eureka Street and Australian Poetry.

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