Jane Frank

Conjuring the Day

I carried pear tree seeds
in a hanky all those years ago
that withered in the dry soil.
Now the path back is overgrown
though there are glimpses
when we sing the same hymns,
eyes closed,
or if I conjure the day I bought that shawl,
its colour bleached to bone.
We unpicked the edges of one dream
to make another, and each week, still,
barques and schooners bring hopeful cargoes
up the tortured artery of river
that gives us everything we have
when it’s not taking it all away.
Letters inch their way
to the bottom of the world
from people whose faces blur,
bittersweet shards
of life and death.
I don’t know what they make
of the words I write:
it’s not easy to explain
skies wide as deserts,
fields of cane and spindly scrub,
children that know only this.