Tanks by Rhyll McMaster

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Travelling,

where darkness hauls the world

back under ground,

we pass a solid water tank;

squatting on wooden stumps

its corrugations gleam the dull combusting silver

of elephant hide.

Summer nights breed tanks

and a belief that the moon

was made from a tank smashed into sky passage,

empty and dank, corroded by lichens.

In hollows behind outhouses

or back of a wall of pepper trees, tanks

are sleeping, stirring.

They expand, become nervous and rough

and, grinning with iron dimples

begin to move out to the edge of town

to wait for the lorry to Places Unknown.

 

Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)

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