InReview InReview

Support independent journalism

Books & Poetry

Poem: Going Home

Books & Poetry

A journey poem of leaving things and finding things is this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Linda Westphalen.

Print article

Going Home

I’m going home,
a train, a cooling rise to see the sun die in a sea.
I’m going home,
to find my reason and work my way along a line of washing
and ask a lover’s questions.
I feel the press of ache against my heel
and wish for healing balms, a child, a meal and silence.
We are not alone even in the single seat of the train,
the heat of cattle pressed and panicked eye
as we take our chilly path to death –
and blink and watch the trees go by.

The sun catches a scarf of cloud
like a bright brooch on a mourning wife.
As grey night rises,
a cavalcade, revels, steaming voices sooth
and a simple single voice, in stillness –
a pause between zeros and ones.
A streak of contrail betrays –
a wild swipe of paint against a wall.
A child’s call trips memory. In younger days
I did not think of endings at all, but only of what was:
this rich jewel, this life, this breath.
This step from the train to the cooling earth.

Linda Westphalen is a senior lecturer at the School of Education at the University of Adelaide. She began her love affair with English literature in the 1980s, particularly with Wordsworth, Milton, Yeats and Manley Hopkins, while teaching in secondary schools. She completed a PhD in Aboriginal Women’s Life Histories in 2002, and moved to university teaching, where she is known for her passion for pedagogy.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.
Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Books & Poetry stories

Loading next article