Broken hands would spread well—
rows of femurs I’d sown on the Aramac chain where
red dirt chews rain,
rain licks grass;
teasing in its globules.
Stiff lipped dogs with barreled chests,
their smooth pads under paw like soft stone.
Not glossy like a schoolyard stonker — but oddly rounded like matte
river pebbles, dried on land’s edge where knots of gull shit made
white peaks; white noise.
Ruffles, gilded guns.
I never saw guns,
so removed am I.
I plucked and plundered —
carpenter hands of my grandfather — veins in my legs from his
odd gait with that grainy icon of him; army beret and lead in his boots.
Concrete coloured eyes sink into some stale brain
where all it took to hollow out a skull
was a barbed shank, two grubby feet and a naked hand.
Held high. Held tight. Thrown down.
One day he stopped picking at stones —
could no longer see the freckles of dust
on the crosshairs of his rifles and cross bayonets.
I see him in the yard:
flicks his lighter, the cigarette offering hope
among the darkness of a western sundown, the leaking light
where he dismisses the loneliness and baulks at a sitting crow.
Carly-Jay Metcalfe is a Brisbane based writer of poetry, fiction and memoir. Her work has appeared in Overland, Wet Ink and Vignette Press. She is poet in residence at Blackstar Coffee in West End for the next six months, writing poems in exchange for high quality caffeine. She maintains a poetry blog at www.bruisesyoucantouch.wordpress.com and a memoir blog at www.chasingawaysaltwater.blogspot.com.
issue 12:01 | archives by category | archives by author