I fell out of bed this morning. After a sleepy dead drop, the hovering reflex awoke in me. At once my spirit relaxed, so peaceful watching myself stop the kids off at school. I floated above my usual tram, spying tiny determined people squeeze their lives in. Past terrace houses waiting half-asleep in long lines for soy lattes. Past the museum’s bottled rainforest complete with tawny frogmouths picking off a small workforce of industrious mice. To the split city where the homeless plane trees stand too far apart for their roots to speak, branches reaching out to touch leaves briefly. There I am scurrying to work holding my breath, avoiding the turbulent front of florescent work vests. Light repositions imperceptibly. I’ll stay with myself to the very end. Falling is acceptance, failing is too. Skyscrapers create updraughts that lift me higher to survey volcanic divide: richer or poorer – the trees picked their sides when we forced upon them a human life. The air is so full of space floating down, pressing upon pressure bulging upward. I’m bonded to that reclusive body now hurrying itself homeward, squeezing in the same old dirty ear plugs. Concert night – there are my bouncy kids in flea-circus costumes. Such pageantry walking hand in hand with the reality of matrimony’s aging infrastructure. Close upon the border of converging I wait selfishly till all are in bed. When I hit the earth, lifting my head just enough, I say to my husband – Call an ambulance! But he thinks I am already far away, dreaming.
Jennifer Allen is a Melbourne based poet, whose first collection of poems ‘The Cut Worm’ was published by Precious Press 2006.