2 Poems by Jerome van Putten

11

LIVEABLE RISK

There was a care that went with doing things

tight ropes can rip off fingers

hold tight and keep your fingers free

for shifts in the wind

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A wave knocks you over

for walking without respect

for the fall and rise

of gravity on the swell

unless you walk leaning on bending knees

the balance always shifting

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Though you might think you’d fall overboard more

It only happened once

                                        And then on a river

so my guard was down and I was five

valuing my stuffed toy duck enough to reach over for it

but slipping instead

                                     into the flow of the Bundaberg river

and my mum jumping after couldn’t swim anyway

so we hung off the back ‘til dad came and hauled us out

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WHAT THE SEA KEPT

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Whole folders of photos were lost

to the salt on the spray

of the occasional random wave

that mocked all careful efforts

to preserve the minute details of our trip

>

Lost were the conversation pieces

the forgotten neatness of days

the regular dates and the odd admission

‘I can’t remember who this is’

all the pieces between memories are missing

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