American Creek I
i. By American Creek there�s a fig tree that�s been chopped off at the waist. Nothing but a brown stump remains. it�s the reason for my suburb�s name. & as for mine, you ask? Ralph will do. Mr Malvern to their friends at school. I watch them walk down O�Brien�s Rd. Reflected in the Fairlane�s rear-view. ii. Hit by a wave of International Roast I navigate classrooms, bells. Verna. Mrs Malvern. Here they come, late as usual. Somehow excusable. This public high school�s last summer day. Relief like the change that brought The hot rain. The creek swells under the old iron foot bridge. I watch it. iii. The school yard�s dense with bodies as the fog on Mt Nebo, youngest of the city volcanos, the one that feeds into American Creek. It�s flooding. Call me Clint. No, I am the eldest. It�s okay. Happens all the time. Well, there�s the bell. I�d better run. Got our big assembly today. Sure. Bye. iv. I can feel the nettle, stuck in my leg. The only one I missed at the post- raid leech & scratch inspections. JR. Jason Malvern. Securing the sting�s perimeter, through the grey cotton of my shorts. That�s better. I have to cut a fresh trail through jungle � up at the source of American Creek. v. The creek�s steam mingles with our cigarettes, Joni, me and Star. Durry sisters, too cool for North Beach, or school. The rock bulges out under me like a wedding dress, creamed. Watching the water swirl. �Hey Jess,� says Star, passing me the burning stick, �we get your mum this year.� vi. They don�t believe in fairies but I do. There�s fairies in American Creek & I�ve seen them, too, in Beaton Park. Don�t laugh at me like that. You�re all the same. Alice is the name. Do you play music? No? Me, flugel horn. I also compete in orienteering. Good for the calf muscles. Little Atheltics. vii Betty Boo, just doin� the do. Here is my frown. My mood is like that sky after rain, like the swollen veins of American Creek. Why do I have to go to school? I�d like to skate away the summer, attend gigs. Mind you, I do get away with a lot. This isn�t Ghost World. Yes, it�s Betty. Seeya.