The weeds open their hands
on the cliff that faces
my window the kind
whose shoots
pass for tomatoes grown tall
as me in summer
set fruit on flowers
I never saw their ripe wombs fall
through the washing line I find
them hollow and
light as paper
lanterns. All that’s mine

is inside this
window that the tall weeds watch
and a fish lives on
my bookcase
threatening reflections
in his glass

Jemma Payne


‘Neighbours’ was awarded second prize in the 2016 Ros Spencer Poetry Contest, organised by WA Poets Inc. and presented at the Perth Poetry Festival. Republished here with permission.