Alice Allan


In the morning you notice

the spiny palm in next door’s garden

has a sickly lean.


It’s probably older than you


a thousand yellowing arms

pointing all directions.


On your white kitchen tile

by your white kitchen bench

you wonder

if roots can knit like bone


if a better use of your time

would be to climb the fence

and wedge yourself

against the trunk.


The first night

your breath condenses

under the wailing flight path.

Up and down from the Austin

sirens tell


and minor disasters.


            I’ll never finish On the Road.


Eventually, the trunk rubs away skin.

People bring

cushions, guitars

looks of concern.


You become

friends with your neighbour’s

kids, his wife starts

avoiding the back garden.


Alice Allan is a writer and editor living in Melbourne. Her poetry has appeared in Southerly, Cordite, Rabbit, and Going Down Swinging, along with the first issue of Plumwood Mountain.

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