Bright Light

We're a car-load of old women driving
home through the bright lights of George Street.
It's late on a Saturday night,
about half past ten.
The crowds are young and spilling along
the footpaths, sparking into the traffic and out,
the light catching up-turned faces in the flow like
bubbles in a glass of champagne.
Out there on the street the mood is triumphal;
all of them on their way out of the humdrum, as if
each one holds high the banner,
the brave fluorescence of being young.
And we know it so well, this banner,
the heraldic trumpets, the unicorns, taiaha,
and tassels flinging up through the stars,
pushing the moon out of the way.
Stop, we say, in sensible tones. The lights turn red.
We have to warn them; it can all turn bad. And we
should know. But fog horn? Distress flare? Hazard lights?
Run up a skull-and-cross-bones in the Octagon?
The three-eyed sentinels wink, turn green,
and we're on our way, laughing and
waving our own banners, buoyant
on each side of the car, like wings.
Old dragons rampant. Unrepentant.
We're flying.

(c) Carolyn McCurdie. All rights reserved.

The bottom half of an image of a flax frond.