The Crane – Dennis Garvey

What sleight of hand and mind is
this

Icarus/Houdini couldn’t
have stage managed
it better

He ripped the heart
right out of it one
eyewitness said

Walking over the town bridge
the day after
looking down on still water
to wonder
and give a shudder

Yesterday
a man drove a crane over
this precipice
splintering iron railing
here
splattering rock bottom
there
and lived

Lived
that’s the amazing
bit

How onlookers such
as me must have
lingered

To gawk at death’s
prospect and crane
their necks

As deep depression is
to the prospect of endless
summer

All along Uduc Road the
fact of a fall is
evident

Everywhere
in shops and arcades
on street corners
in cars
across fields
to hill and sea
talk elongates as
shadows grow grey
and grotesque

With slow grace a crane
lands
legs disappearing
into nothing

In long lines like
traffic rerouted
detoured

Harvey River diversion
trickles
saline drips its
way through

Past

Lost Noongar lands
lost native vegetation
lost fauna
lost wetlands

To its next dark
crossing

Wings beating
heart flapping
the crane pulls
into flight

Startled out
of mechanical surprise

It picks up the sun’s rays in

One final act of brilliance
before

Disappearing

(with dark night)