Witness

At the supermarket’s meat counter,

they sell ropes. Yellow and blue.

Things we need when weather turns bad.

One could never be sure when the boat

needs tying off to a cleat.

At checkout, we talk of hurricane Ursula.

It was in the news, it is now by the docks.

My bottled green sea resting on shelves.

 

Across the aisle, a woman looks out.

Trains deliver milk and morning newspapers;

at the end of his shift, a night watchman

lights a cigarette watching umbrellas running

to shelter. He has nowhere else. His children

sent him a blank telegram. Monochrome winds,

he thinks. Time to repair, to build.

The house he was born in no longer exists.

 

©Maria Stadnicka, 2019

Published in Social Alternatives, Queensland, Vol. 37, No. 3.

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