Shh-Shh – a poem by Susie Walsh

He doesn’t hold a hose. Mate.
But he’ll hold your hand. Forcibly. Because he can.
Because the cameras are here.
Because he’s come such a long way.
(Via Hawaii. Shh-shh).

He and Jen are tourists to your disaster.
But he understands, you know.
He’s the Prime Minister, you know.
Don’t embarrass the Prime Minister.
Don’t ruin the photo op. Shh-shh.


Susie Walsh is a poet, writer, and filmmaker based in Braidwood, NSW. She has written scripts for short films screened at film festivals, and for AV installations exhibited in galleries. She is currently working on Palimpsest — a collection of poems, hybrid texts, and reflective essayistic interchapters in response to the lived and multi-layered experiences of drought, the 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires, several floods, and existential distress about COVID19. Her poem “Discordant” was in the Solastalgia exhibition (Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 2020); “How I Hold You” is in the What We Carry anthology (Recent Works Press, 2021); and “Rewind Erase Record” will be in the Admissions anthology (Upswell, Oct 2022).

Photo credit: L. J. Hayes





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