States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Distance' by Adrienne Eberhard

Distance

(after Jordie Albiston’s ‘Cartography’)

What is the space between this hut and that mountain
but impenetrable black, and frosty cold.
She is writing this at a table in the cabin,
spinning thoughts like threads, as if they can hold

her boys tighter, pull the mountain in, with their bold
tents blooming like flowers in the snow.
Can thoughts, or mad desire, shift the world
slightly, tilt ranges so their faces lower

to her own? Upthrust, tectonic forces, the whole slew
of geology sped up, so contour lines diminish
and lakes freeze, ice thickening to a deep blue
while those dark mountain peaks relinquish

distance; and this long night will finish.
Her writing is a thread to lure them back,
their faces filled with snow light, dolerite, the itch
of time alone, the cold breath of height. Face facts:

the contours between here and there are shifting. Pack,
and ask, what is the space between home and out there,
between their beginnings and these beginnings, but a lack
of courage; what is distance but a prayer?

Adrienne Eberhard


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.