Forgotten Australians, memories, poetry

What is Wild?

by Rachael Romero (guest author) on 2 March, 2011

In these two original poetic works, Rachael Romero reflects on her experiences at The Pines, an institution for girls in Plympton, South Australia.

What is wild?  by Rachael Romero, reflecting on entering The Pines

What is wild
Child
Not meek, not mild
Defiled
Exiled
Reviled
Child

MAGDALENE LAUNDRY

The stigmata of
religiously tattooed
Magdalene       slaves
scourgings of
“fallen women”,
scars from
inmate  labour
laundry work
hard physical
against the will work,
disfiguring injury
to hands and minds
now and always
Branded and
besmirched by
vituperative
nails-through-the-palms-
language
religious scourgings
marks of experience–pain
onto legs
bellies
Branded by injurious insult
religious tattooing of the mind
forced
physical labour
such as laundry work
agains- the-will,
side-by-side nail marks
Christ inflicted pain
Magdalene self-injury
cigarette burns to
know what  Jesus felt.

PENITENCE
the identifiable stigma of slaves
hard labour institutions,
stigmata people
ancient
branded.
on  my body
the same wounds
symbols of pain
and slavery
marks of ancient  inmate identification by  order of the church,      state order.

by Rachael Romero

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