Thursday, December 13, 2007

Janice M. Bostok: STOCKYARDS

closer to the island the anticipation grows will it be a tropical paradise a place where special children like our son can live in a freedom hitherto unknown we had not realised that there was an island at such close proximity to the city was it the treasure for which we searched to be tightly held and kept for a lifetime our son’s lifetime we turn from the highway a road leads along an inlet past rusty ships and sagging industrial buildings this can’t be right we must have missed the way then suddenly a long sweep of bridge leads us from the mainland there is no stopping or turning on this carriageway it leads straight to a rust-coloured island the buildings a legacy from the past salt sprayed palms hunch low out of the onshore wind a wintry wind as bleak and as unexpected as the landscape a red brick building with a wide front entrance deceives us from the outside its open arms snap shut with the wire gates which must be quickly opened and locked with each passing from area to area and courtyard to courtyard we leave relieved to expel the dank salt air from our lungs we leave our screaming son locked behind the fence of his ugly new island home

by Janice M. Bostok
Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia
first published in Stepping Stones, 2007

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