Mark Mahemoff, ‘Traps and Sanctuaries’
Traps and Sanctuaries
Stop-start driving on Old Canterbury Road,
stewing in summer’s variety of juices,
you notice modest dwellings
ageing like their inhabitants.
So much can be read
into these elderly constructions.
Most are just piles of bricks—
traps and sanctuaries—
held upright by gradual decay.
You’ve known this road for most of your life.
Your father travelled it weekdays for years.
And sometimes, on school holidays,
you joined him for the journey
which began in eastern affluence—
where no one’s shoes
seemed to touch the footpaths—
and ended in the smoggy din
of utes and semi-trailers.
But always you returned home
to clean air and silence
with eyes full of longing
staring far into the distance.