States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Demurely' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Brunette or shocking white, these wallabies
have their own special nook nearby,
under that blackwood.
                                          Why just there,
I ask myself: no particular foliage
has given a verbal meaning to the spot.
Something about bone-dry shadow under those boughs
appears to murmur clan or family. Yes,
I know that sounds kind of patronizing,
but when these animals go through their routines
we can see a social order clear as day.
First, and utterly visible, there’s
the milkwhite mother with joey in pouch,
moth-brown in hue, as are all
the rest of this little clan, one of them plainly
a mum too, with her teenager.
Some littoral nights, three tidy wallabies
sleep beside Blanche under the darksome tree,
loitering there – if we don’t jerk into view. Then
suddenness sends them bounding off downhill,
except for the white one.
                                             Yes, she’s at home.
You could say she’s got the game by the balls,
a calming mother, white as vanilla snow.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.