Autumn poem

I am ankle-deep in leaves
and though the days burn bright
the fast-falling evening has a bite now:
I watch a small child pointing
with blunt fingers (yours are moon-like,
soft, nails longer and lovelier than mine)
at the desiccating leaves along the footpath,
more rubbish! she cries, more rubbish!
more rubbish!
                       and I walk home
past three damp-cornered houses
in which I used to live: autumn
is soft and slow
             and spacious. I think
of how I curled
away from my cold feet
hooked behind your knees,
each finger in between yours.
                       I still fear
that there’s a hollowness
within me.
For a moment on the freeway
the next morning,
a huge crow hovers
             in the middle of my windscreen.
They too are smarter then they need to be,
and I wonder if they feel it
like I feel it, wing-dark
and sinking.
                    There’s a crack
in the skin of things,
the dry air.

Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright’s new essay collection is The World Was Whole (Giramondo, 2018). Her first book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance won the 2016 Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for nonfiction, and her poetry collections are Knuckled and Domestic Interior.

More by Fiona Wright ›

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