10 November 2020. Springhill Road, Port Kembla.
some stayed in their cars
some got out and stood and those closest
did for him.
They eased him from the crumpled frame
lifted his leg the angle, the bone, dear Jesus.
Gently they edged him from the shattered kerb
to the lawn drenched from last night’s rain.
Someone pressed their shirt to the wound in his side
another stood by his head and shaded his eyes.
One breathed for him, their mouth on his
the iron of his lips
obedient his chest rose and fell
like a shopping bag.
He said something then too quiet the sky
They said hang in there mate.
Sirens in the distance.
Sometimes he appeared to them tiny a broken handful
sometimes he was vast a landscape of fractures and pools.
By the time they arrived that early Spring day
the medics had to pry their hands from the holding.
Up the hill the traffic pitiless coal trucks and half-cabs
but here it was quiet wind in the plane trees
a bright of gulls.
They stood together
a moment longer hands useless
as he was raised in his ruin
through the morning air.
Image: From the crash site, Springhill Rd, Port Kembla c/- Adam McLean, Illawarra Mercury. A local tragedy.
And here’s the Australian Chamber Orchestra featuring Wollongong boy Richard Tognetti and his flying ‘strad.’ with Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.