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City Wind
Leni Shilton (Southern Cross University, Australia)



On Thursday night
the wind
pulls hard.
Alone again, walking—
wet roads,
mirror flashing lights.

I step off the pavement
and see my reflection,
the building above me
pictured on the road
in hard lines of glass and concrete.

My face featureless,
made stranger
by splashes of passing cars.
It’s an old man I see,
hairline slipping back,
eyebrows thickened to fill the space.

It’s like a comic drawing of a face
—a joke.

More rain and the face becomes mine again,
the buildings focus,
lights flash again.

And the wind,
like the third person
in every thought,
demanding as a child,
pushes at me
to move on.



Leni Shilton has lived in Central Australia for many years where she has worked as a lecturer, a prison educator and a bush nurse. She is a poet, whose work is published in journals and anthologies, most recently Women’s Work, Art Monthly, Axon and TEXT. She is currently undertaking a PhD in creative writing through Southern Cross University.

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