Surviving

A patchwork of tin: rust red
peeling away from silver,
faded light green, and greys
of several ages—cut
to fit the irregular space
above a carport door—

it’s classic Australiana.
You could move my neighbour’s shed
to the National Gallery. Found
materials, and the skill
of cutting precisely to size,
and all the right tools, and a life
when nothing went to waste.

To sit and look for an hour
at these rusting panels, half
obscured by the waving branches
of the apricot tree—to sit
with the telephone silenced, and gusts
of wind and rain on the windows
and not write, not find words
for everything that’s happened:

without this emptiness,
this quiet watching, how
can the words re-form themselves
around the unspeakable? Look
how the shed sits square in the chaos
of billowing green leaves,
unmoved by the passing drama
of horizontal rain

or without fuss absorbs
the afternoon sun—the tin
too hot for a human hand—

 

 

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