Ross Clark

(30 August 1953 - / Clark / Australia)

Improbable Event #1 - Poem by Ross Clark

for Jessica Stone

Halfway up the mountain
to my friend's place, the road
a decade unfamiliar to me
and darkness already cloaking
its curves and drops, I chanced
upon them, hazard lights blinking,
stopped ahead at the intersection.
Someone in trouble, or more likely
lost and I probably could not help,
map-bound myself and grateful
there was only one road up, but aware
that the turn-off might elude me yet.
I drew past, pulled up, walked back.
Young tourist or student gets out
and inquires of me, we are looking
for the glow-worm farm, and I wonder
who is playing a trick on eager Japanese;
but he hauls a lap-top, glowing green,
from the car and shows its location
on the map he scrolls up and down.
They also cannot find their turn-off.
In their headlights I search
my fold-out map, compare it with
their screen, declare we both should
keep going, they may follow till I
turn off. (Why here, this husbandry
of glow-worms? And do they need
Minutes later I find my turn-off,
and several hands wave from
the hired Japanese car, now
just a few minutes from
their own destination.
Half-way up a mountain,
the lights of the coast behind them,
their tail-lights flickering,
their lap-top radiant,
they had waited in hope of
glow-worms. They were young,
and their map had promised them.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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