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Jolene Leonard


Perth, Western Australia, Australia

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A Walk


Jolene Leonard

I venture out, alongside racing cars and an unsure sky.
Trees scream about, hooking into the murky depths of my mind; drawing out cloudy garments to dry in the gale.
Crisp air. Faintly patterned with reminiscent smells;
It forms a glassy platter around me, upon which I place my thoughts.
Pacing along, pacing along.
I head West, and the light chases me.
Yellow grey, pink grey...light blue.
I head along orange lamp lit streets,
past roadworks where the boundary tape feels harsh
as I run my hand along it. I nick my finger and
blood flows. It stains the concrete block where I stop.

Light fails, and the pinks and yellows drain away
only to rise in a butternut shape around a big white moon.
I decide to follow it: Catch it!... Catch it.
Of course it remains ahead, but the path and me dissolve:
It into hardness, barely dividing the houses and the road;
me into a childhood dream, buffed by the darkness.
I manage to tightrope my way along between the two.
Pacing, pacing now toward an old home.
My vigour is fed by the stinging coldness.

Maples defend their territory, abundant in numbers.
Their limbs are sparse, and I am sure
the starry leaves upon them are wonderfully
blood red, tinged with yellow, and so bittersweet.
It is dark and I cannot see them.
The moon has slid evasively behind dense fog in the sky-
I am alone.

A leaf pesters me, biting my shoe.
I once danced around it's pointy shape.
Now I crunch it, and the brittleness echoes
westward down the empty street.
The crackle of it matches the smoky smell in the air.

Pacing along.
A park miraculously appears
in a place a don't remember it to be.
It brims full of thick eucalypts, jewelled with
little sleeping birds.
Such an oasis amongst suburbia, so I rest.
I rest my aching back beneath an earthy tree.
I dig my fingers into the warm, soft soil.

I realise I've walked further than I've ever walked before.
Before long, I am pacing.
The road winds into a route I have taken before.
So I head East, back home.