From Crossing Two Rivers

by

13

There’s more that could be said about these things

besides your love and if she saw you now

aiming to pin down the grind and pay your share.

Her ready leisure once when she knew you

and her eyes were open on the sandy rug

behind the jade screen still makes you smile.

Surely, dearest, you must be cold in there.

You might have been one of the happy few

but as it was you made a devilish pact

to stay put and haruspicate yourself.

In another time where they speak different

an old man in a singlet punches the air

while his daughter the sparrow of good character

perches overhead in the turning maple tree.

 

14

Remembering the fireworks, the christmas tree

that so-called boyish pratfall down the stairs

an enclosed field, an absent middle term

the discounting of all that matters most

that book that sat so long for you that when

you opened it to read it fell apart:

in all your thoughts about authority

you only make the same mistake once more.

On a scorcher take yourself to the deep pool

outside the cave at the base of the gorge

where little birds go flitting in and out

and restore some normal feeling to the skin.

Like serried clouds the as if boys are back

so get riled up sunshine then settle down.

 

15

Tell me your story then tell me again.

There was that girl and boy in an old EH

who could not stop until they hit the pole,

the memory of a father twice removed,

that drunk and toothless hag one-time princess

married in the old school chapel, waving goodbye;

the wind-tossed possum in the pear tree,

the little brother who is in big trouble.

Like having survived and died at the same time

you want to leave them be to grieve but can’t.

There is the wombat, ripple-flanked clawed boulder

or Friday night fish and chips on New Year’s Day

or a country song that gets you where you live

and gives its sensible form to a perhaps.

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