I come from a red gum forest, where even the flowers grow far above your head. I don’t know what tree birthed the wood that makes up the boards that form my house today. I should have made my Ex paint it when I had the chance. Now my child is grown it will never get done. I have all of time to watch it, peeling from butter to grey under the dead west sun.
Nobody mows the clumps of flowers anymore, even the onion weed and clover, in case I grumble at them. My venom, such as is left, lacks a mandible to pierce the skin yet everyone pretends I am still scary. I admire their skill.
An old truck coughing in the drive is what I have become; it takes the knack to get me through my gears, and onto open road. I am anxious, mum is anxious, clutching at straws, at shreds of dignity, at hope; as if the organising of that tendril of hair alongside my neck can mean the difference between tomorrow and next year. I am as unconnected as the Daddy Longlegs that spiral though the place on their goofy spindle shanks.
Something happened to me and it keeps happening. My mitochondria, suddenly in charge, seek to liven up the joint, promoted to the leadership my brain viewed a birthright. Daily, weekly, yearly, I grow less well. Organs and limbs roped off like demolition sites, I am no longer open to the general public.
I have come to command a new place, where every thing is made of me. Visitors must agree to move at my pace, see with my eyes. I weave them into shapes they had not known before. I hold them close and they are inside my world before their heads are wet, through the waterfall and safe to travel further.
For such a useless being, a great deal happens near me. I have scissors and time. The back lawn is covered with hair. I am space. There are spare beds packed inside the shed. Tomorrow I must post a bicycle helmet to another city.
With swift fingers stitching in a futureless world, reduced to the reach of my fingertips, I am this moment. I am the flowers of the bindii-eyes, the eyes on the spiders, the dark grey sclerophyll bush waking in the painful dawn.
Perversely, I thrive.