The Ballad of Monday Morning

Winter bone. All outside the car
the dark still holds opaque. No streak
of day, the landscape all deep

space. The sky vast and choked
with stars; the road, dark water, tows
the car now our space probe. We three

stuffed in this packaging marooned
by heat and fleece, we could be heading
to the moon, our child held firm

by sleep. I am unmoored before
this dawn, the farms dormant and strange,
so take my fill of black and bright, eternity

in my face, noting down new measurements
to check and calibrate. Deep space has a bleak
appeal and this is what I wanted, time

at home, your turn to work, but now of course
I’m haunted. We pull into that white
blank place to start the week’s commute;

you close the door and take with you
my work day world of purpose –
you are set loose. The airport

police indicate it’s time I drove on
and I lose your face in the crowd
like a planet I strain to follow

when my eye baulks at the telescope.
But there you are, standing
tight; I am with you still, against

the tide of shoulders and smiles, the polite
security queue. Then the moment you
disappear, as one day one of us will.

Published in Australian Love Poems, Inkerman & Blunt, 2013.