An Open Door

1 November 2012

Always a monolith of a man.
In the end we could scarcely discern your shape,
scarcely vision which grassy knoll was a shoulder
or if the low slung spread of sheet was the saddle
between ribs or hips. A mountain vanishing,
swallowed by a plumed bulwark of pillows
clouding inwards, enclosing your newly grim head.

Always, you ate. You were tumescent
with the globed honey of reason, tumescent
with hope. At the end, your body ate you.
It consumed the stupa of wild intellect
(and the quiet considerate heart)
that housed a harvest of unanswered questions.
You were lost to an undulation of bile.

Always, your brother holds you;
tonight he anchors your earthly self.
Yet our grief is fracturing its way – let loose,
as if gas, or water rising from a coal seam –
irrational and unknown. Time’s compass lost
to disobedient memories that threaten to set us adrift.
Always, you travel through lucent space.

Always, we wonder if you navigate
some other sphere, whole and articulate.
If you have left behind the slough of skin
you left behind, dismissed the frailty of bodily
humours and confounded your laptop’s pale green
blinking eye. Behind you, trembling silence
of a partitioned room and a door that won’t close.

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Kristin Hannaford

About Kristin Hannaford

Kristin Hannaford’s two collections of poetry are ‘Inhale’ in Swelter (IP, 2003) and Fragile Context (Post Pressed, 2007). Her poems have been published in many places – in a range of Australian literary journals, on ferries, and recently as Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service signage. She is currently writing her next collection of poems thanks to an Australia Council new work grant. She works as an English teacher and lives in Yeppoon, Central Queensland.


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