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Railway footbridge, Perth (from 'A woman on the Edge')


My careful paces, three to the second, carry me

across the worn, regular plates of the footbridge; a slight give,

spring, a dull noise that dies, and if I pause to look

over the rail into the slack, dark backwater,

the black-to-silver flash of heron-bait fry

flickers against the turvy tree and the negative sky.


I know that by the hedges at the far side of the bridge,

where an old gate leans, black flies will be haze-hanging,

trailing their lazy legs in the air, and that I might be taken

by the sudden ambiguity of a butterfly, resting

on a stoical stone, all red-gold-in-shadow.


Yet to come, but first a one-boy riot of slapping trainers

in a terrified sprint to win the far side before a train comes,

oh the clangour of drowned bells his feet make; be quick, be quick!

Who knows what cracks may open and

what worlds may be tumbled into if the monster should arrive;

would the boy be left senseless, eyes a-distance,

or a wicked, smiling changeling, or a pair of empty shoes?

Is there such magic, such old, unwritten wizardry in the everyday places?

I have no idea, but he has me running fit-to-win as well!






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'A Woman on the Edge' is one of my current projects.
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Marie, your work intrigues me.


I really like this. Peaceful tranquility overcome by contagious panic lol...................scribbler

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