by Jenni Overend
I see you through the skylight
in the black wattle
silhouetted against early blue.
We are exchanging our waking and sleeping, you and I.
You stretch and scratch
and ready yourself for sleep,
I stretch and yawn and watch the sky lighten.
'til the stars burn through again tonight.
Jenni says: Our home is in the mountains above the Yarra Valley in Victoria. We live in an old country house of many rooms and levels. When I wrote this poem, my bedroom was in an attic with a skylight so I could see the stars at night. Our roof is overhung by trees, which are visible through my ceiling window. One morning I woke early, just as the stars were fading, to hear the sound of a possum on the roof. I watched it as it clambered onto a branch visible from my bed and settled itself ready for sleep…just as I was getting ready for my daytime.
Jenni Overend’s most well known book is Hello Baby illustrated by Julie Vivas and shortlisted by the CBC in 2000. Her most recent book, Stride’s Summer, her first novel for young adults, was published in 2007. She also teaches adults and children the joys of writing stories and poems. She loves writing poetry most of all, and this is the first of her poems to be published.
Write your own poem: It's fun to observe animals, how they behave, how they move, how different they are from humans. Write a poem about an animal where you include some of these observations, and also include yourself in the poem! How are you different? The same?