'July Poem' by Dominic Symes | States of Poetry SA - Series Two

how strange and Viennese you are today Adelaide
like the skating rink in front of the Rathausplatz

here I am finding it hard to stay upright too
every step I take is cautious
                still moving
I wonder if it’s a frozen river
that I’m skating on the               Blue Danube
or a smaller tributary
                building to crescendo?
of course
                after the rain last week the Torrens
is covered over with a layer of earth
like sheets of brown ice shifting

it’s the Black Swans
traversing pontoons of leaf litter with
                  spindly legs

it’s an abandoned bike I see
the same single speed
that I have walked past for weeks now
chained to the thin trunk
of a plane tree by the smokers’ tables

it’s these same barren trees that
creak and bend in the wind
but won’t uproot

walking between the Exeter and the hospital
past the Elephant and the Palace Nova

it’s the sun
                low in the sky that warms my back
and it’s the light
                              that like a tourist bends down
and tries to pick out one of the dollar coins
                   embedded in the footpath

that makes me think this is all
                                                positively Hapsburgian