Arm's Reach


two helpers under each arm

he's carried down a dust blown path

legs wobbling, body shifting

dropping him on the plateau edge


a still head, windscreen thick glasses

staring at the staggering earth axe-blow

called the Grose Valley


can his eyes reach the distant river cataract

or the line of tall trees by a stream

can he see the colours and cracks of the afternoon cliff

does he know of Grose

or the tiny eucalypt bush at his arm's reach?


below in the mass of gullies and shadows

walk teenagers with a bronze legged beauty

their cameras with impressions of fawn-blue trees

and picnic lunches with red apples and lettuce


soon the helpers will appear

to drag him up from his underarms

to puff the hill and drive the dust road home

past the budding wattle

and the waving white-topped trees

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