Aubie: Kokoda: 1988 by Elanna Lowes Herbert

after the ambulance
the final rush from home
swept up by your past
your breath your war
the coma begins. short.
sharp. rattles of phlegm
covet the vastness your
unchosen experience your
retelling untold
crinkle sheets hospital sterile
wrap the remains of memory
around a wasted body. coma
inductions strong as birthing
surface pull terror up clutching
clots of humid night thoughts your
war distils over a horizon
seeps into whiteness a
Canberra Hospital room cold
beyond the July freeze. we wait
slowly. occasionally fidgeting. drawn
into fear your life’s end echoes
battle foetid Kokoda
Ioribawa Oivi
Gona strange murmurings
mates’ cries your reply
their unheard calls our
witness. your chosen
breath shouts. sharp.
short. useless as pain at lungs
drowning lungs
dying is never that
moment. you prepare.

From: Herbert, Elanna, “Aubie: Kokoda: 1988” in Meniscus, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018, p. 11.
(https://www.meniscus.org.au/Vol6Iss2.pdf)

Date: 2018

By: Elanna Lowes Herbert (19??- )

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