Welcome to Eureka Street

back to site


The asphalt ribbon hauling us home

  • 07 October 2014

Calder Highway   Normally tempers fray behind the tempered safety glass, but not today. The city dwindles as late-in-the-day sun slants, Late-Romantic, across clouds, a mountain. Cresting the hill our breath suspends in unison.   We are laughing, eye-spying. You, the one not driving, spy it first: a Jeff Koons puppy, backlit, riding a wave. Cloud-smitten, our son and daughter conjure horse and monkey rider - pale Chinese zodiac aloft. Enchanted, you catch my eye.   Do you hoard them up, the clouds, the games, the sprockets meshing; steel-bound shape of us, this version - mother, father, son and daughter - banked for consolation later?   as if we were clouds all along as if we were our best idea of us sweet creatures scudding the range luminous   The asphalt ribbon hauling us home.   – Angela O’Rourke  

Orange Song – Autumn 2014   Day One. I walk twenty yards down Williamsons Rd. then back. Day Two I walk thirty yards down Williamsons Rd. then back. Day Three I walk forty yards down, to the old driveway and look in to where the house has been razed, the pool all gone, no sign. But there in the midst of a field of flattened dirt the orange tree stands green, heavily laden with late Autumn fruit.   I pick six oranges and walk away up the hill.   At home in the warm, simple kitchen we bring the fruit to the boil in an equal measure of water, sugar to hand, making marmalade.   My Irish descended grandmother passed her recipe to my mother. Oranges, a lemon, sugar, water and a carrot makes, by traditional alchemy, nectar.   My mother is arthritic, making her way with the tap of a stick she sings. Marmalade is too much work for her now.   The fruit simmers gently for hours filling the house with childhood. We sit quietly, my mother reading, me writing, waiting for the moment when the jam drop falls from the spoon to crystallise on contact with the saucer.   – Will Day

Angela O'Rourke lives in the Macedon Ranges where she teaches English and Art at a local secondary school. In 2011 she was the winner of the inaugural Castlemaine Poetry Prize.

Will Day's work has previously appeared in Meanjin and Cordite Poetry Review.