Horseshoe Bay

Rachael Mead

 

I love this place the way a dog loves its human,

wordlessly and to the bone. The shark-spotter

unzips the long, high blue and the sea is so clear

I float in green light over the dark weight of empty.

 

I walk the blue slate path to Knights Beach,

three feet taller and not needing anyone’s hand,

past the Norfolk pines for the white war dead

and my old new house that I’ll never own.

 

I’ve known this place since my skin was fresh

as the sand after a wave. Now I’m creased

and coarse as the granites. I feel its moods,

the pilot-light glimmer of hope for dolphins,

 

how everything tastes better when you’re coated

in its salt. I started this poem with Whizz Fizz

and a Historic Port Elliot pennant. It closes

with chilli squid and a cold glass of white.

 

I was dumped here, tumbled breathless,

first by waves and later, a man – heart

and faith battered, learning the sea and love

are fickle and the brutal shock of metaphor.

 

My days here are bright and free as January strains

to turn sand into glass. Sweet shade and granite,

grass and ants, prams and dogs, the sky and sea

so blue from the vast blackness behind them.

 

Long ago, this bay was forest, these granites spat

from volcanoes. The spirits of so many hover, mine

just one ghost world in the throng. This is how it happens.

Everything will be different, everything will be the same.

 

 

Rachael Mead is a poet, short story writer and arts critic living in South Australia. Her poetry collections include The Flaw in the Pattern (UWAP 2018) and The Sixth Creek (Picaro Press 2013). She has a collection of short fiction forthcoming in 2020.

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