Pfizer’s Daughter

(This poem was first printed in Australian Poetry Journal 9.2)


Now I live beside the hospital,
The ER is just a casual jaunt
Past the cruelty of the
Billboard at the petrol station
(((Welcome To Liberty)))
And the brine of other bodies –
And the shock of errant baggage –
And the pressure of the sky –
(((Silver clouds like polished cellulite)))
Do not take notice of my injury!
It is spring now
And there are newborn falcons up
On Collins Street –
A clutch of dandelion heads
Humming warm against the concrete ledge,
Muscles knotted, powder-white –
And someone’s started filming them,
Big Brother style.
I’ve watched online as Mother Falcon,
The magician,
Retrieves red silk scarves
From the carcass
Of a pigeon
And how sometimes as the flesh is rationed out
The smallest chick lowers her head,
As if feigning a dizzy spell might guarantee her
The first mouthful, hot with blood.
Often, while their parents hunt, the babies simply
Wail at passing businessmen
(((Pale feathers clinging to a patch of wind)))
I can only aspire
To be so brazen in my fragility
As I lope to the hospital, again,
Muffling the rattle of my pillbox.  

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