Phillip Ellis

Rookie (24 February 1968 / Traralgon, Victoria, Australia)

Chance Encounter Poem by Phillip Ellis


Our gazes bumped in the street,
she looked at me the same way
a kookaburra once did,
black snake dangling, deciding
whether to eat or to find a-
nother perch. She ferried
her unconcerned daughter be-
hind her skirt, without even
looking, and our gazes slid
past. It was the sort of mo-
ment the bird forgets you for
hunger, and snaps at the dead
snake in its beak. I don't think
she heard her daughter as she
navigated around oth-
er men, and I was sorrowed
that it wasn't even personal.

Submitted: Sunday, November 09, 2008

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