Albert Park Lake
Beneath a palm, on the lake’s stone wall
a pixie-chinned girl cups low hands, to stress
the pregnant eruption under her dress.
Dogs on leads drag near. Joggers bounce into
the frame as her photographer squats to
catch the curve. She smiles at gusts vexing
her hair, as her eyelashes blink out
a joyful forecast from her thickened waist –
from this rude, commonplace miracle.
Twelve tall palms stiffen in grey corsets
against the wind. Black swans, collared and
numbered, dive for weed in the choppy murk.
Photos lie before the aperture
blackens. Fake smiles stay pinned under glass.
Who will recall her self conscious ache or
the warm wind, or the low buzz of Sunday
afternoon traffic on the Queen’s Road?
That baby in his dark weatherless pond
will never pause at his young mother’s
bump photo. As he pushes through her
and beyond her she might turn from
the undusted mantelpiece, to recall
this fickle sky and the smeared dog turds
on the lakeside path – and remember that
in the screech of plovers, and the growls
of dogs, the caveat was there –
a whisper at the very beginning.
1 June 2014