Cordite Poetry Review is Australia's leading poetry magazine. My poem "Pirate" appeared in its pages in 2013.

Check it out online here:

or read it below:


No one saw who did the deed,

No one saw who pushed the giddy counselor

off the ledge of the dam towards the

copper-bottomed lake down below.

Male staff simply guffawed as the top of her two piece

floated on the water like a green duck,

while the pretty victim, herself, resurfaced in a daze,

her left cheek shaved raw

where it had scraped the rough stones.

Was she twisting her shoulders to hide her bosoms bouncy and pink?

We little girls stood stock still, peeing into the chilly water

suddenly made warm with fear.  Would we be pushed next?

We watched the big, hairy college boys now scrambling

down from the heights of the dam, whooping like pirates, pleased with their prank.

We waited for them to swoop down, heron-like, and snatch one of us away, like a fish, grabbing us from the shallow safety of the red and white ropes and the dog paddle lane.

We held our breaths and stretched our flat little chests out onto the water, holding ourselves still and stiff, hoping to be taken for dead,

just as the swimming instructor had once advised.

Published by

Gabriella Brand

Gabriella Brand is a writer, adventurer, and educational consultant. She can't stop teaching and learning foreign languages. She would like to walk on all the continents (three more to go!). Her husband is extremely patient and her children are, fortunately, all grown up.

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