Last Street Rose

Kookaburra perches
on an iron flower; decrepit
red steel bursting
the buttons of its white coat.

That flower’s very old,
a plant that once grew
virulent here,
pressed steel petals
radiated from every
artificial sun
on every street.

This must be the last of a breed
that whispered to a boy,
told him where he was.

Man perches on fresh
red clay, bricks
tapered to a modern corner.
He must be a long way from home,
must be from the North,
somewhere far, under
the winter solstice sun.

He’d not be the same there,
brighter under the sun,
would not have his head in his knees.

Like a kookaburra,
he’d laugh at the door to a house
and sit with the whispering lamps
that tell him where he is,
tell him he belongs.

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