Common ground


This poem was inspired in part by the Auslan interpreter at the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melboune, May 2013.

“She has the coolest job,” I’m thinking.
not listening, instead watching.
the Auslan interpreter sign the moon.

The arc of a moonrise
it’s like a halfhearted hula
or a shy wave cut short
when she realises she has mistaken a stranger
for someone she knows.

She is dancing
in words.

My ex was a bit deaf
when I knew her years ago
but when we meet again, she hears me
over the rumble of the tram and the city cafe hum.
Perhaps I’m louder now.

Mostly, we talk via text
and I treasure her carefully hewn phrases.
She invokes the wonder and beauty
of the season, the city,
the precious little we still share.

On her way out to the country
she describes the moon.