Elly McDonald


Dingo (1982)

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around here, they speak a language

whose vocabulary is familiar but

the words have different meanings

I can’t communicate

Commonplace expressions require foreign

interpretations; facial movements, social

gestures carry different connotations

I can’t convey

how at odds I feel in this Rubik’s Cube of a

World, how petrified

I am by this Rosetta Stone

Establishment: its every interaction

codified – each move feels false

A game of chess, post coup d’etat

A loaded dice, a snakes’n’ladders board

whose symbols have been reversed

I can’t decipher

An ever-changing cryptic crossword

I can’t control

An environment demanding that I speak in tongues

I find this neighborhood unnerving as the sight

of a dingo gazing down over Woolloomooloo


it’s there, at the top of stone stairs

a watcher flanked by rows of ochre terrace houses

it turns towards me (expectant

satisfied, cynical): Your yellow eyes betray you

square peg

Author: Elly McDonald

Australian-born, with English mother, has lived in several Australian cities and in London. Travelled widely. Way way back when, published widely as a poet and short story writer.

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