Robert Gray

The Dusk

A kangaroo is standing up, and dwindling like a plant
with a single bud.
Fur combed into a crest
along the inside length of its body,,
a bow-wave
under slanted light, out in the harbour.

And its fine unlined face is held on the cool air:
a face in which you feel
the small thrust-forward teeth lying in the lower jaw,
grass-stained and sharp.
Standing beyond a wire fence, in weeds,
against the bush that is like a wandering smoke.

and its white chest, the underside of a growing mushroom,
in the last daylight.

The tail is trailing  heavily as a lizard lying concealed.

It turns its head like a mannequin
toward the fibro shack*,
and holds the forepaws
as though offering to have them bound.

An old man pauses on a dirt path in his vegetable garden,
where a cabbage moth puppet-leaps and jiggles wildly
in the cooling sunbeams,
the bucket still swinging in his hand,

And the kangaroo settles down, pronged,
then lifts itself
carefully, like a package passed over from both arms —

The now curved-up tail is rocking gently counterweight behind
as it flits hunched
amongst the stumps and scrub, into the dusk.

*Fibro cottages date back to the 1920s and are the iconic Aussie Beach Shack.