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Social order of wallabies

1 Comment
Chris Wallace-Crabbe |  13 June 2016


Demurely, Bruny

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 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 patronising,
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.
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-CrabbeChris Wallace-Crabbe is an Australian poet and emeritus professor in the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.



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Submitted comments

wow, wonderful & whizzo.

Pam 12 June 2016

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