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.