These river flats – Lou Smith

where once brolga and figbirds danced
swamp wallabies hopped through mangroves
their rusty fur camouflaged
against the bark,
now toxic with arsenic and slag
the river islands used as dumps
for industrial waste.

I read somewhere
that dingoes and kangaroos
once inhabited the city
animals who have been lost
butterflies
in their hundreds
the only haze then
aquamarine