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Pedestrian

Pedestrian

Someone was standing in the middle of the road.
She stood astride it, just beyond
the blind spot on a sharp, countryside bend,
so hidden that I nearly ran her over.
At first, she seemed an ordinary figure
— jeans, a fitted t-shirt, long brown hair —
but for the confidence with which she stood
where any car would slam straight into her.
Almost as soon as we jerked to a halt
and I got out the car to remonstrate,
the space around her ruptured
with the opening of wings
as colourful as the flocks of paradise.
She stretched her hand towards me, said
I know you’ll take good care of it and poured
from her palm into mine a sleeping child,
scarcely the size of a nut and sprouting
from its belly a shoot topped off by a tiny leaf.
I tried to ask the obvious questions, but she
folded herself from our vision.
I felt her gift stir slightly, though it slept
as soundly as it does now in my hand.
How can I drive on with this entrusted to me ?
I’m rooted here, keeping watch
on the growth of what is planted in my palm —
this difficult, unasked-for joy.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. 29/10/2009 18:49

    Filled my head with wonderful visuals as well as the taste of fine-crafted words. Your work is new to me and glad I am to have found it – thanks.

  2. 03/12/2009 12:27

    interesting.
    surely needed more reads (for me) but i enjoy the idea and style..

  3. 03/01/2010 18:50

    Andrew – you have a true gift. This is a wonderful! I have read and enjoyed poetry from an early age and you have an amazing imagination and a skill in articulating this which reminds me of Carol Anne Duffy. There is a lot more to unveil here…..

    I’m with Robert Pogue Harrison who talks about all of us being refugees on earth and writes “in the future it may well be that these decades will be remembered above all for the improbable existence of a handful of poets who brought the old household gods into hiding. . . . it may well turn out that one of the redeeming facts of our time is that it is the poets who through their poems can give asylum” to those of us who struggle to make sense of the turbulence and deep despair that so many live in today. The last words are mine but I think this is what he was getting at (it was all getting a bit intellectual towards the end….)

    I look forward very much to reading your poems over the next few years….

  4. Nic Sebastian permalink
    09/10/2010 14:55

    Love it!

  5. 18/04/2011 12:56

    This is so hearty and lovely. I love your writing……

  6. 06/01/2013 10:07

    Gosh… it would be a crime if I left this page without comment – Awesome lines, Andrew!

  7. Joanne permalink
    17/09/2013 23:25

    Really beautiful. I had tears in my eyes. :’)

  8. 27/01/2014 00:22

    Very fine the way the poem gradually moves from the expected to the astonishing, from the astonishing to the ethical and communal. This models experience in its fullest sense, one of the things poetry can do for us along with giving such intense pleasure.

Trackbacks

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