APAD 17 prompt: a science poem
Crossing the Westgate Bridge
Meteorology: low cloud, no rain,
still air, a tattered wind sock.
Climatology: the ponds below are still
and green, despite heavy rain, storms,
hail, anything the frantic Earth
can throw at us.
Seismology: there may be earthquakes
or tremors associated with tectonic plates.
Our vibrations are the impact of heavy traffic.
Engineering: impossible to imagine
the breakdown in synapses that leads to
suicide off this height, or filicide
by a man driving his own children
West to East.
Geomorphology: this asphalt road
must have come from somewhere
extinct and volcanic.
Urban Geography: pretend statistics
mean anything. Ahead, three and a half
million people. Go on, imagine it.
Then move to Mumbai and imagine that.
Biochemistry: somehow all
the competition for lanes
disappears. We drive
at the speed flashing lights
Historical Geography: at least twenty-seven workers
with families and possible futures died constructing
this link. No plaque in neon. No memorial day.
Instead the signs flash: Lane Closures.
Workers inside bridge. Progress.
A Lifetime of being in or out of love for Melbourne
Chapter 5 2003 Oakleigh
One brief attempt
to embrace urban
benefits: a decent
school for daughter
regular visits by son.
The week we leave
displeasure: we had
not cut grass, the
front and back yards
were as wild
as we felt, as
natural as life
in the suburbs
tries to be.