Now we are four – Petrina Barson
We have a little table
for your photo, a candle
some objects you lately touched.
But the whole house has become a shrine …
Now we are four is a collection of poems about intimacy, solitude and family. It charts a journey into relationship, then the daily life of a small family: mum, dad, three children – Lara, Maya, Daniel – and one black dog. The expectation was to create a set of poems that covered the ordinary luminosity of family life. But one day, at three-and-a-half years of age, Maya suddenly died.
‘… This is a book of raw and profound poems. They are not all about Maya, and yet inevitably they are: the brutal fact of her absence throwing all else into sharp relief.
‘Early poems evoke the spaciousness before children-alone and then through the tentative intimacy of a new relationship-through to poems on motherhood that exquisitely articulate the visceral impact of that love. There are poems here that celebrate joy with an exhilaration that cuts through any sentimentality this subject risks.
‘Later poems convey the shattering force of a grief like no other, the sickening way life carries on while for you nothing can ever be the same again; and the struggle to find gratitude for a child’s life-no matter how brief- beyond the terrible pain of loss’
Rachael Power Barefoot [Spring 2009]