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Passing Through

By Jennifer Chance

 

Clouds capture
                                        the movement of our bodies
             a quick, simple flash and then a dance
                                        with crawling police cars
 
             and death happens,
                          lone people in masks wrapping fingers
                                        into a long-forgotten prayer
 
The world opens and closes
                          like an unbearable child
                                        with an unbearable wish
 
Yesterday a few ducks passed me by at the Yarra
              and they were free, dunking
                                        their heads in the water,
                          sliding in and out of the bank
                          and the river for them
                                        was just a reflection of the sky
 
                          and therefore endless,
              therefore eternal.
It felt like a dream.
 
The sun on the trees becomes a door becomes a
              face
we watch the autumn
              paint shrivelled leaves
 
The Melbourne sky has always dazzled
                           by how quickly it moves
                           how fast the day forgets its light
 
That night I sit by Birrarung Marr
             the Wurundjeri’s river of mists
             and watch
                          a man slide a mask over his daughter’s
smile.

 

This poem was inspired by a visit to the Yarra River during the lockdown, where I noticed how peaceful everything was. How the world could come crashing but the river would go on.

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