Elly McDonald


Traffic Victim (1985)

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I would argue

I would still be


as I stepped off the kerb, stepped into

a truck

bearing down

its tyres screech for me

its wheel-flesh burns

its brakes ache and break but always

you between me

between me

and death

your arm holds me back

holding back, straight and safe, your arm



and I would do

anything to reach you

to be

with you now

to yank you back to safety

I would kill


anyone, anything, I would roll right over

any body

in my way

if I had my way

– screeching tyres, loss

shrieks –

I would run right over

any object, run right

to you: through

you holding on, holding fast

bearing all


Author: Elly McDonald

Worked in the Australian rock music industry as a journalist and published widely as a poet before moving to London and spending the better part of a decade in advertising agencies. Returned to Australia and tried teaching, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees but also briefly as a high school classroom teacher. Has travelled Western Europe, North Africa, Russia, Northern India, East Asia, coastal USA, some Pacific Islands, and Australia.

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