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'Demurely' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two

'Demurely' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two
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

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