Upon a Shot Star

1 August 2017

I wish they wouldn’t bolt like that:
the wallabies that also take tenuous
place on the block. But soon as I’m out
and wandering wide of the shack’s cleared margin, crackling
twigs and dry leaves only blind feet would,
I’ll shock the solar doze of one,
whose mares I spark and set alight
to firetailed crashing flight through bracken –
rarely more than glimpses of rusty grey –
for anything else at breakneck,
anywhere else but me.
(Me some scorched
remainder, unquivering like the scrub,
left to worry the hours of water, rue
the kilowatts of grass to reach takeoff.)

For even after five years down here –
carefulling steps, averting eyes and clearly
slipping through myriad human cracks –
I still look, walk, smell like a man,
like one of them. What’s to say I won’t
likewise blind with bright lights,
start brandishing gun and dog, reduce
this bush-block I rent to another
sheepless paddock stripped of cover?
We can probably tell I won’t. But try
telling them that: wishing words up
and over a species barrier.

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