States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'Making the road' by Lesley Lebkowicz

The gentle hills north of Taralga
unfold as though

everything were possible. Trees
grow. Their crowns shift in the small wind

showing off new leaf tips: pink, green, a hint
of blue. The cows in the paddocks are big

and brown. They browse and stare
into space. One lays her head on her friend’s

shoulder. Their calves lollop around
getting the hang of things. A bull is fenced

in. He stands still. A curl of hair hangs
from his pizzle. But my blood no longer

flows. My breath is still. No oxygen
is fed into my cells and no waste

removed. It’s true my hands and feet
still drive the car. To the right another road;

the signpost points to Crookwell.
I have never been there

but my mind makes the way:
a road of rutted dirt with tussocks of

grass bunched on either side like skirts
held up against the dust that rises

from each passing car. It takes a bend
into rolling country – roos

raise their heads at the sound of a motor –
and then it winds its way to Crookwell ...

I stop where I am – north of Taralga –
and climb out, dragging my body

as though she and I were one; I lean
on the warm metal and look at the hills

and the trees and the cows and breathe again.

Lesley Lebkowicz

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.