A Story

An outback station -
leather-coloured hills
wigged over with scrub and bush
where in summer
   just above the ground
     vision wavers -
       that violent collision 
of the sun's power 
  faced with its own reflection.
Far-seeing eyes
   look to the sky
finding relief
   in colours blue
    or weather's break
or just the pretty pattern 
of some shredded clouds.

In the homestead
   she crochets the clouds
cirrus' feathered doilies
  the irregular braille of cirrocumulous
            for a bed cover
   a dramatic cumulonimbus buildup
                for a winter scarf.

Sixty years
 find her dextered fingers
       bent to needle
even when at rest.

And then, at last,
    a chance trip to the sea -
 whiter sands
   edged in Prussian blue and
- in the damp dark sand between -
   Nature deposits 
 its perfect lace
      shyly at her feet
such exquisite
   and fleeting detail.

Her tears flow
   hot in the salty breeze,
grazing paths
   in her threadbare cheeks.
              She cries
at the easy fling
      and careless suck of waves;
at the beauty
  arrived and erased;

at her tired, tired
   hands and the 
    myriad lace masterpieces
she'll never
   have time to design.

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