There’s an amazing woman out there walking around Australia, raising awareness of mental illness and raising $50,000 for The Black Dog Institute. On the walk she stayed a while with my big sister Wendy in Kununurra in the far north of WA. Whilst there she happened upon the poem below that was in my first collection Its your dad that she found in Wendy’s bookshelf. I also met her back in August en-route just north of Halls Creek, it was late morning and already over 30 degrees. She’s tough!
Shooed outside because she smells
black dog, head bowed, tail down,
forlorn, she flumps down onto the deck
head resting on crossed paws.
I know how little it would take
the shake of the feeding bowl
the merest mention of a w – a – l – k
a whistle, a scratch behind the ear
and the dogs day would be transformed.
Why can’t I be so shallow, so easily turned
from despair to delirium.
Why can’t my black dog learn
from my black dog.
artwork by www.jmhenderson.nz