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Monthly Verse

In the wild

To Lake Windermere, Overland Track, Tasmania – Day 2

The light falls wildly over everything
and I can’t decide if we’re pilgrims or vagrants.
Newly attuned to the tension of my body’s wires,
shy tendons and muscles introduce themselves
and I’m sure I’ve discovered a new species of thirst.

TI walk weighted under a stranger’s BMI,
hips and knees moaning with compression.
So pilgrimage feels right, this desire to kneel,
to buckle under the weight of suburban sin
we’ve lugged with us into the wild.

TBut what is our sacrifice? The further we walk
the beautiful machines of our bodies rub away
their rust and as our feet roll the earth
beneath them, step by step, the load eases
on our minds and the spaces between our bones.

TWe are not asking for redemption. This is no
forty-day plan with a devil and a mountaintop.
This is just pure desire for quiet pieces of the world,
to touch something ancient and leave
only wonder and the barest fingerprint.

TWhat seemed necessary is sloughing away,
like the growth of tree rings in swift reverse. Now,
needing no more than what the curve of our ribs can hold
we make camp, vagrant pilgrims settled in our skins
as the dark falls wildly over everything.

by Rachael Mead


Rachel Mead

Rachael Mead is a South Australian poet. She has been published in literary journals in Australia and internationally and is the author of three poetry collections: Sliding Down the Belly of the World (Wakefield Press 2012), The Sixth Creek (Picaro Press 2013) and The Quiet Blue World (Garron Publishing 2015).

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