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2018 Free Verse

Highly Commended

Highly Commended

Dance of the Cranes 
Joyce Noble

Engadine, NSW

Mid chorus line,
arm extended,
second crane pivots, and
for a moment, I wait
for first or third crane
to pirouette
or turn, en pointe,
to meet it,
but
it’s all just
heavy lifting
by hook and whip line,
jib, hoist, boom and counter weight.

The acrobatic sweep and sway
of cables, chains and straps
girding girders,
is only choreographed
to get said girders from a to b
without sideswiping
the extended boom of
a concrete pumping truck, in full flow,
or without crushing
a hard-hatted, fluro-clad,
fully-paid-up member
of the CFMEU
or an underpaid
visa worker.

As I’m prodded past the site each day
(each dry day that is—
the pervious nature of the build
is still
a mystery to me),
I watch, wide-eyed,
the flight
and dip
of skip bins,
port-a-loos,
tall, tinted windows
and sundry
constructionalia
until

the skyline disappears.

Confoundingly,
a fully-fledged pine tree sprouts from the top floor,
which signifies (according to Wikipedia)
that the last beam has been placed
atop the structure.

Now,
crane jibs stare
across the edifice
and orange, Alimak elevators

soar

from ground floor to top
then
sink
again.

I miss
the dance
of the cranes.

But mostly,
I miss

the skyline

as I trudge
along the street
lugging
fibro cottage
and front lawn

nostalgia.

 

 

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