Trade

1 June 2014

A man stands on the corner of Swanston and Bourke
plying his trade
which is not immediately clear to the observer.
Perhaps he’s
selling something nobody knows they need yet.
The observer
wishes to verify his or her own presentiments
about how the world
operates in all its flawed and reckless applications.
Nothing is
as it seems, nor as it actually wants to be,
for example
the illusory nature of bricks and mortar, transitory,
ephemeral as wind.
Air will last longer than this human achievement.
In the contest
between ill-will and charity ill-will will win,
the speeding car
will come off better than the hapless pedestrian.
Only stone,
as an ambition, can approach any sense of permanence
lying in wait
at the bottom of rivers, or the top of book shelves
disguised as souvenirs.
The sun will continue to rise long after the extinction
of our species.
That man on the corner with his basket of stones,
still not sure
who he’s waiting for, what his trade is.

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