Walking the Michael Perry Botanic Reserve, NYE

 


Walking the Michael Perry Botanic Reserve, NYE


 

I wish he hadn’t told us:

 

a koala mauled a dog

 

sickly tear of skin, punctured lungs

 

earth swallowing blood

 

stench of sepsis in the hospital

 

when the owner died.

 

I wish they hadn’t put up the sign:

 

Snakes seen in this area.

 

We walk light-footed, remember

 

childhood stories, when we believed

 

calling them by name would attract them.

 

Then an eastern brown slithers along the fence.

 

Adrenalin-pumped legs race uphill to safety.

 

I wish we needn’t talk

 

of out-of-control bushfires,

 

a pandemic raging the world,

 

domestic violence,

 

the futility of new year resolutions

 

here on this short stroll with friends,

 

soft sun, clean smell of pine, a cocker spaniel

 

in the protected quiet of a shaded park

 

chasing magpies

 

  

Martha Landman

  

Martha Landman writes in Adelaide on Kaurna Land. Her work has appeared in anthologies and online journals in Australia, the US, UK and South Africa. The latest was in The Poetry Village, Blue Bottle Journal,Tamba and Sparks of Calliope. She was shortlisted for Emerging Older Poets in Queensland. Her Chapbook Between Us, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2019.

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