Last Day at Work

by Jane Frank

Pandemic is a menacing word
but from the walkway, eucalypts
almost hide the road and they pierce
an uninterrupted sky of cashmere.

Butcherbirds make unruffled cries,
pavements are cracked at random,
car spaces empty so the yellow lines
are alarmed exclamation marks,

everything else harmonies of green
and powder grey— the modernist
blocks of the buildings, the ferns,
the surface of the small, still pond.

The sun is hidden by a handprint
of cloud but none of this ordinariness
can hold back the drama unfolding:
flotillas of butterflies exploding

over the lawn, and awash in blousy
air— lemon migrants and blue tigers,
common crows and caper whites.
One flies close, wings brushing skin.

Jane Frank’s poems have appeared most recently in The Blue Nib, Not Very Quiet, StylusLit, Hecate and Glasgow Review of Books and are forthcoming in Antipodes and Meridian – the APWT Anthology of New Writing. She was joint winner of the Queensland Poetry Festival Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award in 2019, and teaches in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University. Read more of her work a and