Elly McDonald


Marsupial (1984)

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Remembering reunions

Past, she sees him as a sequence

Of long, loping movements – half graceful

Then abrupt: a stutter

Of glances, fearful

Querying, tentatively tender

She knows him as a native

Bushland animal – touch-shy, muted

Tawny grey and soft

A possum

Dangling from a gum-tree

Securely attached and by night

Alert, its eyes

Its nightsky-padded paws

An untamed living question




In darkness, in depth and in warmth

A kangaroo heart-pulse – an inch-long

Moist, ghostly pink

Blind embryo, striving

Clinging, swollen – her own

Bloodless like rose-quartz or a

Shaft of ice


As an animal startled

Scared by sudden light

Undergrowth creature

A scrubland dweller

A species protected


And only rarely sighted

Approaching quietly

She hopes to see him soon


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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