Sydney Cast in Shadow

Sydney Cast in Shadow

The garden stroll before a matinee ballet
birds of paradise gawking these palms this lushness
this pristine park dustless alley
these streakfree storefront windows
this cloudless painless blue this skyline
etched with geometric concrete waves
jutting saucer tower arcing bridge
sailboat-speckled placid harbor this paper bag
soaked in grease from fish and chips

Me too far away to see
my blurred face bare legs fingers tugging skirt hem
neverending steps the opera house
perched at cresting point behind me

This map too small in scale its cartoon skyscrapers
outlandish fountain dozen golden arches architecture
arc and angles exaggerated too whimsical
to accommodate the shadowed blocks we walked
cabs we didn’t wave sweaty footprints pressed to sidewalks
heels in hand this vast gap between where we were
and where we hoped to be.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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