Last Morning in the Country

1 December 2013

Out of the morning—
the yawning blue, sleepy-eyed
morning where the leaves rustle
like bed-clothes and the fence-post crows
drip rippling notes
into the steeping silence—
rushes the wind.

I stand stooge in the paddock—dozing a dream
of childhood paddocks: long grass subsides
beneath the sun; the thistle bristles
its prickled crowns, claims its brief footsore territory; crickets weave
a gauzy haze of sound and
off in the encircling stands of flooded gums the call
of the whip-bird falls
and falls
and falls

when the wind comes—scything the grass
into her arms like the past—

she tousles the trees, shakes
the cows from their sleep-ins:

herds of clouds stampede the sky,
a water dragon, posed like weathered wood on
a weathered log, skitters away—dappled
skin into dappled shadow—and the river
murmurs feebly over the rocks before swallowing
its words—until all I can hear
is the wind—roaring
through the treetops like a new world.

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