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Sensibility

By Kellie Purcill

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The coast is clear. I shove the closest book I’m reading down the back of my Fraggle Rock undies and heave myself up into the tree. Don’t look down, scurry around so the trunk is between me and the front door slamming open then FREEZE! while my sister looks for me, evil-eyed and discontent. She never looks up, we never see eye to eye, she sought my destruction and I hunted out wherever she wasn’t. Being eight is a tough gig.

Finally, higher than the roof of the house, suspended and hidden in the middle of the front yard, I pull out the book from my ever saggy underwear, and settle in to read.  My family say I read too much, that I need to go out and get fresh air, so I’ve learnt to hide my papery friends and climb fast. The tree leaves neon yellow stains under my fingernails in the warmer months, the boisterous red autumn colours camouflage me in autumn, and I’m left bereft like a forgotten scrap of tinsel in its naked arms in winter. When I’m told to go to my happy place, for real or in my head, I’m up a tree, wrapped in leaves, licking library stamp ink and sap off my fingers before I turn a page.

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There Are Monsters in My Office

By Kellie Purcill

Specific things I avoid:

  1. Drying plastic containers by hand (they can drip dry)
  2. Bees (allergic)
  3. Shaving my legs (hellooo Autumn!)
  4. The two mailing boxes in my office

Oh, the boxes look innocent enough, all fluffy-cornered from the multiple moves I’ve dragged them through over the past six years, held together with packing tape and stubbornness. Those two boxes, though, (each no longer and higher than hand to elbow) are crammed to bursting with monsters. Monsters lurking in between the photos of my oldest son learning to ride a bike, monsters nibbling on the edges of the pictures of my youngest dancing in the backyard, monsters stuffed into every frame, every spare gasp of air, wrapped around every memory sleeping in the boxes. Memories have vicious teeth, and if I open those boxes I’m going to get mauled.

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Ghosts of Me Then, Now and Yet To Be

By Kellie Purcill

It must have been how high above the world I was sitting. One minute I’m in my mid-thirties, dressed for a hot summer day, on a train into the city and see a cement pipe down low – – then I’m thirteen or fourteen staring stiffly out of the school bus window at the farmed …

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