Greaseproof Rose

Greaseproof Rose

Which produced more civilizations,

yellow grass or green?

Who made poverty legal?

Who made poverty at all?

Eating a cold pork sandwich

out of greaseproof paper

as I cross to Circular Quay

looking down the last Harbour miles

the world-ships furrowed, bringing poverty,

dates this day to my midlife.

Out of the approaching then city

rise towers of two main kinds:

glass ones keyed high to catch money

and brown steeples to forgive the poor

who made poverty illegal,

and the first Jumbo jets descend

like Mates whose names you won’t recall,

going down behind the city.

This midlife white timber ferry

scatters curly Bohemian glass

one molecule thick, afloat on a

green dark of laws before poverty

and I hold aloft my greaseproof rose

for hand-to-mouth, great hoister of sails.

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