The Story So Far by Taonga Sendama

Young Writer's Series (Curated by Western Australian poet Anthea Yang)

The story goes
My great great great very great grandfather
Skirted his responsibilities and slept
Sun soaked under the swollen guava tree every afternoon
Until the sun swapped skin for shadow
So my surname
Stapled suffix
Is nothing but a sleep story about a silhouette of a superhero 
This is the earliest story i can tell you about where i’m from
Then there’s the story of how I got here
I used to get asked why we were here
I wanted to see a kangaroo in real life
there’s something about a father’s love worth crossing oceans for
And if you’re lucky
After you cross these oceans
You will look your father dead in the eye and say
When did you get so old?
And if you’re lucky as I am your best friend will laugh
With you
This is a good story
I tell it often
The story of the greatest “almost” of 2018 remains untold but the lesson remains
What I know now;
that yawning sun at the end of that nightmarish tunnel
Is a graveyard of moth skeletons
Of icarus lore and behold and come look and
Here i am both
Youngest sibling roughhouse reeling
And makeshift welcome mat downtrodden reunion
Hands stretched like clockwork
At 9:05 my dad will walk through that front door
All the leftover ghosts from the streetlamp on the corner
Will trip over the threshold as he enters
He will stand there
Backlit by the floodlights of the greatest magic trick I bore witness to
And i will dissolve whatever tantrum or mood of the day

And sit with my eager heart tugging on its leash
On the good days
He drops to both knees
Arms open halfway infinity
Pinned across gaping night sky backdrop
And I run
All the way home
On the bad days
I am in his arms before he has the chance to be anything but
The story goes
A girl loved her best friend so much
She broke down at work
Because a customer had the audacity
To wear the same cologne that her dad does
This is the story of the unsent poems
The missed calls
The missed birthdays
The first christmas apart
And all this is the story of the night sky 
When I was younger
My dad read to me from his astronomy textbook during a tv break
Last year
On October 13
I sat in the garden in the dying light
Blew out a candle and wished for a 9:05 reunion 
If I draw the lines correctly
The stars
Look just like the silhouette of a superhero 
And his sidekick

Last updated on: 30 April 2020