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Kangaroos – The 100 Days Project: Day 58 [43]

Brush-tailed Wallaby

by Christine Townend

Breakfast was ordinary.

I ate toast and drank tea

and afterward showered a body

rumoured to be my own.


The wallaby came loping down the road

like spirals unwinding

carrying the whole forest in a packet –

bark, stones and the stick floor.


Brown, furry creature with so much aplomb;

the air was left breathless.

For one moment he looked at me

before passing, as kings will pass

in motorcades, too royal to stop.

Photo: Jesper Örtlund (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Christine Townend holds a doctorate in poetry from the University of Sydney. She worked as managing trustee of Help in Suffering Animal Shelter (Jaipur, India) from 1990 to 2006. During this time she and her partner Jeremy founded two more animal shelters in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. She also, much earlier, started Animal Liberation in Australia and, together with Peter Singer, founded what is now called Animals Australia in 1980. Her collection of poetry, Walking With Elephants (2015) is available from Island Press

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