Poetry | Call in sick

call in sick, 6:06 …
a long cold walk in the dark
body tense like the animal spirits
the hand’s invisible twerk
wrenching at all of it
power lines and lit-up cranes liven the dock
i feel old as filth. images stack up sheen
gulls larrikin the dawning carpark
letterboxes on the waterfront
put my foot in it
woosh goes the water, up
curr the gulls’ errata
linfox, dank palms, i feel like a minicooper
deranged and orange, shiny in morning
meat pie dinner with peas, gravy and mash
sunrise slow like a forklift, then yellow on that hill but later
maybe try cycling yeah get a mission get a journey
he used to jog from preston to work in the city mon–fri
this morning i saw ducks, ducklings
while you all were out PB’ing
found a lack of citrus amongst the new builds
i too felt decorative, perforable
‘decorating each alienation’
saw a little distressed
weatherboard and scrapey grey walls. thin,
allergic to the world. a good stupid wall
cheap and lonely and effective
oh yeah but yes. tired, 7:07
climbing undistressed steps, sluggish going up
a myna’s safety yellow beak and feet
on the nature strip
rosellas on the power line kissing, sharing breakfast
i buy coffee and am knocked out
solemn backyard wreckage

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan is a poet and co-director of Sick Leave. His chapbook ‘Dear Eileen,’ was published by Puncher and Wattman as part of the Slow Loris series.

More by Gareth Morgan ›

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays