Friday, June 09, 2017

New Poetry by Louise McKenna


Traffic slows in this 50k zone
as if hard held by a jockey.

The racehorses are being walked at dawn:
the same horses I see each morning

at this junction between night and day,
their breath recorded on the cold sheet of air,

steam from their backs in the thin light, rising.
And the same men

like dockers in fluorescent coats,
are pulling them along,

as if they were hauling
freight or lumber.

Each car and bus
seems to make the horses flinch and stagger;

a black light in the quicks of their eyes 
that I have seen before

in those of a wounded bird
I once nursed in my hand,

the rapid timer of its heart
palpable beneath egg-thin bones—

or those of the colt filmed after the race
tottering on a snapped radius

as women in fascinators sat
knocking back flutes of Moët et Chandon.

- Louise McKenna 2017

Louise McKenna’s work has been published in a number of Australian and overseas journals.  Her chapbook, The Martyrdom of Bees was published last year by Garron Publishing.  In 2013, Louise was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize. She lives in Adelaide and is currently working on a full-length book of poetry.

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