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a woman by the side of the road

Digging into a dumped load of tree spoil and shredded Camphor laurel, a young woman by the side of the road. Spading up clumps of rotted waste into a wheelbarrow, behind her in the gloom of the forest is a caravan. She has a garden.


Almost overcome by the stately weeds that claim preponderance after weeks of monsoon rain. She has a shallow plot of tomatoes and peas, a couple of cannabis plants turned hermaphrodite; useless, and her two small children scamper about barefoot in a forest of brown snakes and black leeches.

Something alien slithers over the caravan roof every other night, a beast with claws that travels on its belly. When the scrabbling turns silent she hears a deep breathing.

Sometimes a car travels by, late, and they pull it around on the road by her home, squirting rock and dirt into the air. She leaps awake, listening for a car door to close.

Though there is never a light here at night, but still they come. A bottle fizzing through the air, they howl and depart. Their car growling away and into the hills.

Wild dogs are silent, except for faint rustlings as they slide through the weeds and about the caravan, under the floor – sometimes a whimper as a young dog is taught stealth.


She is awake.

{written to quasimodos dream by jimmy little}

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