Regional Victoria, Saturday 13 November 2021


well-stocked op shop—

she sifts thru clothes racks

to find

an alternative

while I scan CD racks

and spot



          I know why I hold her


familiar crossroads—

we embrace and wave


before going

diametrically opposing



          I know why I hold her


the main road

out of town—

I lightly push

my pre-owned CD

& skip ahead

to track four


          I know why I hold her


stretch of highway

lit by blue & red lights—

I do a U-turn

at the sight of the upturned


up ahead of jammed traffic

& varied emergency



          I know why I hold her


alternative route

into town—

I keep

my pre-owned CD


& skip back

to track four


          I know why I hold her


back home


I pull


see texts

& call her


          I know why I hold her                    dear


Stereo Story #644

Michael Leach is an academic at Monash Rural Health, Bendigo. His poems reside in Rabbit, Cordite, Meniscus, Stereo Stories, the 2021 Hippocrates Prize Anthology, and elsewhere. Michael’s poetry collections include Chronicity (Melbourne Poets Union, 2020) and Natural Philosophies (Recent Work Press, forthcoming). He lives on unceded Dja Dja Wurrung Country.