She groped in the darkness

And felt cobwebs wrap her fingers

In sticky silk

But it didn’t matter.

Though the rock over her head

Dripped eternal drips

And the air was

Rancid with rats,

In her heart a blazing fire

Burned, pushing her along.

The flames licked her throat,

Warming it against the damp.

Things crawled over her feet

With tiny piercing claws

And scratched a repulsive retreat

Down the terrible tunnel.

She knew the fire was fuelled

With imaginary wood

Which would,

One day,

Inevitably turn to ash.

But it was all she had.

Australian writer, environmental activist, hang-gliding assistant & former sailor, journalist & clown. Debut poetry collection available now.

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