Kangaroos Near Hay
Head like a horse, whip of backbone twisting the body
into a coil, a scythe,
legs smooth as the length of a shark, cowled
with claws black and tooth-strong,
the tail curling like a lip.
The whole animal is a a single arch, its currents of sinew
traced under storm-grey skin,
spilling with tension,
its lope of bone and msucle tight as a fist.
Sometimes, they lunge past you,
battering silence from the uncut farm at evening.
but, mostly, morning lays them at the roadside,
wrenches them into angles,
legs snapped, brittle as branches stuck out from sand.
Or there’s nothing
save for the crab-stain of blood beaten into gravel,
the body belched away in its last swathe of existence,
its eyes eaten with lies about light.
from Light Pressure (1983)