By Rachael Mead
Two years I’ve lived as if in a cul-de-sac,
a flat sun bathing me in cold blue glare,
my griefs orbiting like silt-faced moons.
Yet in dreams, I soar with bar-tailed godwits,
guided by gut and stars over the vast blue curve.
Manna gum, I see you, pale bark a clean flame
licking the night. Please, tall one, tell me
how to relish stasis. How do you stand,
rooted deep in the loamdark as life sparks past,
the years a doppler rush of flicker and change
under a twirling sky. I try to feel my way
into your body, a hard thing dressed in weather,
needing nothing but to cradle all these quick lives.
This year, my autumnal equinox swung past,
decay etching my skin and honeycombing bone.
What’s it like for aging to be an act of creation?
Your hollows house rosellas, koalas wedged
between cloud and grass. Wattle-bird, lorikeet,
honey-eater all feast on waves of flowerfroth,
ants sipping sweetness beneath hangnail bark.
Human lives race towards you and away
by foot, then cart, then car – for you each day
a mere falling mote of light. What’s it like
to exist like an open door, arms wide?
Even as the eucalypt ocean shrinks to islands
you stand – a pacifist in the heart of battle.
When you find yourself living in a graveyard
packed with monuments to loss, please,
old one, can you teach me how not to fall?