Jane Frank


Nothing Bad


I'm walking across a bridge in the

town where I grew up,

stillness in the unmoving

groundsheet of river,

tied at its edges to mangroves

still stained midway

with king tide mud.

A solid bridge,

built in 1926,

designed for flood,

a landmark in the place.


Some people can't imagine tragedy

yet on this flawless winter day

I think of disasters:

the Tasman, the Golden Gate,

envisage the way this bridge, too,

could split at the point I'm passing

where the boats come,

people sliding into an abyss

as muddy canvas tears open

to swallow life.


It's the silence that makes

me think like this,

the steady heat on my back,

the distance I am

from the headlines,

a dare to see if anyone is listening.

I look down

and the water's surface is

still and dark

as it has always been.






Jane Frank is a poet and academic from Brisbane, Australia. She is the author of Milky Way of Words, published by Ginninderra Press in 2016 and her unpublished manuscript, Dancing with Charcoal Feet, was highly recommended in the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize in 2016. Her poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Westerly, Writ, Cordite Review, Takahe, Antiphon, Northwords Now, and The Poet’s Republic, as well as anthologised in Aiblins: Scottish Political Poetry, Luath Press (2017), and elsewhere. She teaches in Humanities at Griffith University.