Ingrained

Julie Maclean

 

After lines by Brian Turner

They lived on the flats of Nhill

the old woman will tell you

She’s seen the eyes of shop fronts

glaze over,

vacant on the day we drove through

in our hybrid cars in matched silence

 

She swears on her mother’s grave

young wheat turned grey soil green

silos cracked with grain in good years

flowing over in low mountain ranges

tarped in white canvas, kept dry

 

She’s seen the creek run wild,

then collapse again

 

And she says   Let me tell you how we lived

How the dead stay alive in the mind

 

Like today when a Salvos’ mannequin stands

with hands on hips under a beach umbrella

in the main street

Pyramids of dead men’s clothes

brush the clouds     dusty colours saturated

by a rare shower    limbs spilling over the sides
This is my town, the old woman says

This is her man and his John Deere

Look!        Everything for sale

 

Julie Maclean’s third collection Kiss of the Viking (Poetry Salzburg) was published in 2014. Shortlisted for The Crashaw Prize (Salt), her work appears in international journals like Poetry (Chicago), Mslexia and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). Blogging at juliemacleanwriter.com

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