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Thirty Four Years On

By Judy Johnson

I watch fireworks two streets away
spring the night of its entrapment

the way a magician springs
a waterfall of coloured flowers
from a black top-hat.

Don’t tell me nothing is as it was.

Distance closes and expands.

A million year eye-blink
calls the light of stars
to my reaching fingertips.

In the dark I am adult
and six years old
yearning for a space beyond
the scaffold of my bones.

In a year’s time when I am seven
an artery balloon will burst
inside my father’s heart.

Twelve months later
Neil Armstrong will take
his giant leap for mankind.

The second hand of the clock
holds each moment in suspension
just before, like a slingshot
it lets go.

The window’s four corners
are cardboard clips in an old album
holding in their freeze frame
that same photograph

the same clouds yawning
into black and silver rags
the same small footprint of a man
appearing on the ghostgum moon.