On the track, with crisp cracks at birdcall,
chainsaw and the rewind of a mechanical
shutter, the lyrebird whips and whirls close
by without pause. Our children collect stones.
The gums give way to floored trunks covered
in moss, thick enough to hide your hand, even
on boulders near the rich ferns by this creek.
Chartreuse and char-grey, the air water-heavy.
To have time to know the way light enlivens
texture, with you summing up the rocks and soil,
narrating the eras; perhaps this is where we’ll
get to one day when they’ve gone. Or to linger
and let this world lie inside somewhere. Right
now the children scamper for their game. Soon
they’ll be hungry, their lungs full of mountain air.
Already the little one is asleep on your back.
Kathryn Fry relocated to the Lake Macquarie area from Canberra a few years ago. She has poems in various anthologies including Australian Love Poems, A Slow Combusting Hymn, Watermark and Once Wild (the Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2014). Her poem “Under the Old Tangle” was longlisted for the inaugural Ron Pretty Poetry Prize awarded in 2015.