The Free Riders

freight train

vibrations 

and red sand



goanna-skulk

the yard

lay still

eye prey

till it slows

then strike

pack first

careful legs

up and                                         inertia



hot embers

pierce ears

coal-swarms

descend on

carriage beds

rolling snares

dance lullabies

play the free riders         to sleep

                                                                                          it looked smaller on the map

they slow

bail off

dehydrated 

slink into

a roadhouse

raid fridges

empty bottles

desperately

overeager

desperately

underprepared 

                                                                                          it looked smaller on the map

hide-tanned

in ripped black 

they search

the nullarbor

for a piece

of fallen                                 sky

Joshua Lee Shimmen is a writer, teacher and general ratbag.