They’re digging at Sandringham, open cut,
the hunt for the lost Six Ten
that diverted from its accustomed route
and burrowed in the sand.
This morning from my cottage
on the edge of the Sandringham pit
I saw pantographs protruding,
spines of a fossilized dinosaur,
and now the spools on cranes are
grinding sure and slow, steel cables taut,
extracting the commuter carriages
with unexpected tenderness,
not to rend their couplings.
For thirteen years it’s traveled far below,
but today the sunlight’s harsh reality
will illuminate the Sandringham Six Ten.
Marion on the sofa is reading poetry,
unaware of imminent revelations.
By midday, I can see a dozen carriages
resting on a bed of wooden sleepers.
The doors slide open, and as I watch,
the passengers, unexpectedly alive, detrain.
A fantasy, unreal, yet it’s
happening right outside the window.
I express my concerns to Marion.
Perchance a dream, amor, a mashup,
a conglomerate where logic is on holidays.
On a scale of stormy to D Minor,
how would you rate the day so far,
its intrinsic plausibility?
Outside, the passengers glow and dance, some are
calling loved ones on their mobiles,
and when reporters prod them with a microphone,
they smile and check their watches.
I relay the situation to Marion,
rating it as overcast on Bare Mountain.
She doesn’t seem surprised.
Experts have foreseen another Sandringham
in the subterrain beneath the current suburb.
I expect they’ve come from there,
and by the way, it’s all a dream, most likely.
A dream, but who’s the dreamer?
My vision of the Sandringham Six Ten
but this is Melbourne, after all.
Tell me, Marion, in your reading,
does reality take its place,
a passing moment of lucidity perhaps?
She shakes her head.
I’ve searched and searched
verse by verse
for a skerrick of commonplace sense
and come up empty handed.
Mystery solved, the dream is hers,
and I’m no more than a marionette,
a dreamee in Marion’s midsummer cast,
yet I have one pressing question:
Are we on for dinner at the trattoria tonight?
I’ve booked our favorite table, but if I don’t exist
it might be best to cancel.
Mussorgsky night on the bare mountain (1867).