Where I have walked

Rose Lucas

In the end      should it arrive   slow
enough                I know I’ll see      again
these streets            where I have walked
and walked       down grid and lane      over cobblestones

grass and macadam     thinking      talking      watching the world 
through tumbling seasons    from days of prams and playgrounds 
to longed-for lockdown walks     always trailing
threads of conversation    and close attention    the finding and

the losing      wandering          together or
separate         under plane trees and elms
their bare arms      transforming  
into a dense canopy     a flicker of green    then red

the curl and press of
roots    cracking pavements
gardeners       tending       clearing     
dead-heading the passing flush

the glory of faded blooms   giving 
way to       nubs of something new
droop of lilac or buddleia    wisteria winding
the length of wooden verandas

lavender hedges pressing   or the extravagance of
birds of paradise   leaning    quizzical and
magnificent over the fence        or bright red callistemon 
decked out like Christmas –

once      in the outer reaches of scraggy 
late winter branches     we watched    an intensification              
of stick    feather     cobweb      taking daily shape   
as a magpie pair      crisscrossed

the verge        collecting materials
so that what had only been       imagined
came     for a time     closer to           being some
thing        say a matted basket to cradle the future     despite	

all its uncertainties                and so
this fabric of my life    this threading of moments
of thoughts       and particular words    of what is seen or smelled
or touched     the repeated pathways of the familiar and

the wondrous world that still unfolds            petal by petal
and the anchor of home     its flickering shade of ornamental vine
all held     in this rising and falling of breath     then all 
gone      in an instant

Rose Lucas is a Melbourne poet, academic and critic from Naarm. Her most recent poetry collections are This Shuttered Eye (liquid Amber Press, 2021) and Increments of the Everyday (Puncher and Wattmann, 2022).



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