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Vol. 3:  Saudade

Sonnet For The Vintage Boat Swings

in the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Nicki Blake

Nicki Blake is an emerging writer based in Perth, Western Australia. Born in England with a heritage that is both European and South-East Asian, Nicki’s writing focuses on themes of identity, inclusivity, the natural world, and the interaction between people and their environments. She can be found on Twitter @strawberrythief

the shape – curved metal hull, the facing seats
the frame - is instantly familiar
here in the gardens a small rescued fleet
sails me toward the shores of yesteryear
to the time when we had the landed house
the swing anchored on a sea of patchy grass
I rocked in its metal keel for countless hours
under skies of bunga kamboja stars
then redevelopment’s encroaching tide
swept us away from houses and from place
the old swings vanished – sold? or cast aside? -
and since then, I have seen them nowhere else
until today, when I commandeered a craft
to navigate the straits from present to past

Anchor 1
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