In the only flats in a posh suburb

Wake to the back neighbour’s pool pump,
cloud of young mosquitoes in the stairwell,
little girls screaming in the pool —
the rich man’s voice
pulls the cord
on a two-stroke tuned soprano.

The other rich man, over the side fence,
has a woodchipper. Granted there’s no point
having a woodchipper
if you don’t use it to chip
a motherfucking
fuck-ton of wood.

The rich people two doors down
had renovations a year and half,
all day bang bang BANG BANG,
then the man with the woodchipper,
who also has a double block, three cars,
a ride-on mower, a trampoline,
and an actual working dovecote,
put a second floor on
and blocked my view of distant trees.

I don’t mind the dovecote, pigeons
circling like fireworks,
near the whole height of the sky,
a thousand hands
flipping dictionaries, whoo, whoo.
Only when they go to bed
do the crows start: faaarck.

I told my dad about the woodchipper,
as I drank his wine
on his quarter-acre block and two sheds,
architect’s plans on the glossy table.
He lit up, said, I’ve
been meaning to get a woodchipper.



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Belinda Rule

Belinda Rule is Melbourne writer of poetry and fiction. Her poetry chapbook, The Things the Mind Sees Happen, Puncher & Wattmann/Slow Loris, was commended in the Anne Elder Award 2019. Her first full-length poetry collection, Hyperbole, is forthcoming with Recent Works Press in 2021.

More by Belinda Rule ›

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