Elizabeth Allen


At Winton

Here your body learns the seasons.
She brings you a home-grown pear, slightly bruised.
It rests in your palm like an answer.
At night, while you dream, the dog whines and the wombat
snuffles and scratches at the wooden bedroom door.

The weekend is sticky with traces of apple jelly and toast crumbs.
You sit back on the couch full with wine and love
and high on coffee, bitter and sweet with condensed milk.
Josh takes you back to childhood:
playing Uno and Snap with dog-eared cards.

Brin builds a dog race up behind the house
with wire and wood. Small adjustments.
You fight a temperamental DVD player.
Walk out to find the bay tree and oregano by starlight.
Sitting in Easter long weekend traffic you shift slowly

back to your Sydney state. The car struggles to get up hills.
Underneath the engine runs a clichéd tune:
I miss you I miss you I miss you.
You note speed limits. Consider new approaches to happiness:
buying new clothes, acquiring a boyfriend online.

Wonder why it is so important.
You are reminded again of how many people there are
how strange a collision of factors determines what we are

how small this corner of consciousness you keep defending
with each breath.



Elizabeth Allen is a Sydney poet and bookseller. Her work has been published in various Australian literary journals. A chapbook of her poetry, Forgetful Hands, was published by Vagabond Press in 2005.