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Sport 43: 2015

The Hibiscus Route

page 38

The Hibiscus Route

The natterjacks creaked
all the livelong night. Dawn
—black to purple to yellow—
was the compressed lifespan

of a bruise. We picked our way along
the sand, took the river route
inland. You slipped on your bum.
The flecks of gold in your eyes

glowed slightly mad, were
maddening, drove me crazy.
You returned from ‘the bathroom’
swinging the folding shovel,

pointed me away so you could
bathe beneath the waterfall.
Over 50 species of hibiscus blared
their colouring competition.

You preferred felt tips; I,
the softness of coloured pencils.
The awkward crayoned entries faded,
like our home lives, into the background.

We identified three new species:
lividus, purpureus, fulvous.
Back home, our partners tossed
and turned, lay fallow.

page 39

Your bruise was somewhere
between purple and yellow. Then
the funding dried up and that
was the end of the project.