Blowfly Grass

The houses those suburbs could afford
were roofed with old savings books, and some
seeped gravy at stitches in their walls;

some were clipped as close as fury,
some grimed and corner-bashed by love
and the real estate, as it got more vacant,

grew bladey grass and blowfly grass, so called
for the exquisite lanterns of its seed,
and the land sagged subtly to a low point,

it all inclined way out there to a pit
with burnt-looking cheap marble edges
and things and figures flew up from it

like the stones in the crusher Piers had
for making dusts of them for glazes:
flint, pyroclase, slickensides, quartz, schist,

snapping, refusing, and spitting high
till the steel teeth got gritty corners on them
and could grip them craw-chokingly to grind.

It's their chance, a man with beerglass-cut arms
told me. Those hoppers got to keep filled. A girl,
edging in, bounced out cropped and wrong-coloured

like a chemist's photo, crying. Who could blame her
among in-depth grabs and Bali flights and phones?
She was true, and got what truth gets.

Judith Wright

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2008 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
Tir Na nOg Poetry Community