By | 1 June 2014

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.

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