Those sudden shifts …
Wind at midnight rattles windows.
A girl finishes with imagination before morning
And wakes from a nightmare.
The father stops the glass of water.
The nurse takes another path to avoid
The maternity ward.

By morning, Spirits reverse …
The Russians turn in on themselves.
Hose water blows back up the hose, making
The whole exercise pointless.
At midday, the infant face of a white barn owl
Flees across the hills near a school chased
By mynas and crows as the teacher lifts his chalk to address the class.

Fiercely, without question,
For the next two days, well over the eighty-minutes
Necessary for the steel kidney dish to stop crying, the wind rages on…

About the Poem

The poem was written across a week in June when we had news of the Wagner Group of Mercenaries attacking Russia, A severe weather event, and A Bill brought before parliament in Australia providing legal protection for babies who survive abortion attempts to be given life-preserving treatment.

About the Author

Glenn McPherson is a Sydney-based poet and teacher. He has been widely published in Australian Journals and Anthologies. In 2022, he featured in the Newcastle Prize and ACU Poetry Prize Anthology, and was published in the Best of Australian Poetry 2022. In 2023, he was a finalist in the Gwen Harwood Poetry Competition. Poetry Forthcoming in, Antipodes and Australian Poetry Anthology (10).

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