By | 1 December 2022

We hear their voices echo across the estuary
fathers, mothers, and children fishing,

an old man with a cane walks up the steep track
a lyre bird is scraping among the ferns

Every imagined finch, and the whip bird’s call is a guess
you spot the dry cormorant, self-grooming

and tell me stories of canoeing the Lane Cove River,
your mother’s compassionate eyes, the ancestral home

at Greenwich, asking what patch of blue is the sky?
Cornflower, I say, though later, it turns an eggshell blue

Later, in the blurred catastrophe of phone cameras
evening bruised me with lost childhoods

We talk about nuclear emissions, the sharp air
how many lives destroyed before Putin’s tyranny is spent?

The mangrove leaves glitter despite toxic chemicals,
rising sea levels, microplastics in storm waters

No one is to blame for the moon’s abrupt, ironic face;
a shadow drawn over my incurable days

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