The Rose of Kilimanjaro

Seasons change;         so nature
sets your nature free. 

You toss your gear in the back of the ute
and head north.

Longed-for water,
westbound sun, a barge, the ferry; 
lackless being.

Some day it will be sun spots and crepéy hands,
and you won’t be blamed for requesting Christmas lists, once getting around town becomes
a chore.

You might even thank the calendar
for nudging us into new acts, changing stages.

Right now, though, there’s no more clocking on,
no more pledges, claims
to clew.

The time has come—you named the right—
for doing things you want to do.

It’s only a week out here in the mountains;
waking up warm in your dewy tent,
pulling on your grey marl  university shirt,
fixing coffee on the little gas burner.

And then,
       driving south this time—the hair on your legs as feminine as any boob job or burqa.  Blank sex of glowing peaks, whittled rain.

changing a blown-out tyre on the side of the road,
before the highway packs you in.