The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Julie Maclean’s “Kiss of the Viking”


Lachryma: Mother Aria for a Wet Day in Oslo

Holding a baby would have been good today.
I had the urge to lullaby after the Krohg

His gold-framed wife suckling the boy,
telling stories of Nordic explorers,
magic reindeer, trolls that turn to rock.

I always loved you being sick. In a dream
you came back to me, five weeks old.
Everyone wanted to hold you.

I was anxious.
You started mouthing adult words
like a singer practising scales.

When you told me you were leaving home
for your new life in a foreign state, I looked
out from the hotel window;

albino Operahuset; glacial granite mimicking ice.
I watched you toboganning the slope at Baw Baw.
You were eight.

Raindrops melted the snow.

This selection comes from Julie Maclean’s Kiss of the Viking, available from Poetry Salzburg. Purchase your copy here!

Originally from Bristol, UK, Julie Maclean is now based in Australia. She is the author of ‘Kiss of the Viking’ (Poetry Salzburg, 2014), When I saw Jimi’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, UK, 2013) and e-chapbook ‘You Love You Leave’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press, US, 2014). Her poetry and short fiction features in international journals like Poetry and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). Blogging at

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.


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