The Demise of Hilda Johnson

Wasps drift on the micro swell.
Sunshine kissed ripples radiate from plunging stones.
Speedboat wash strikes the mangroves.
Clouds peek over the tree line
like abominable vapor men.

On the ocean side,
Senator Hilda Banks clicks on the most elegant heels
she’s seen since Imelda Marcos
gave her a guided tour of her wardrobe.
In the buying frenzy that follows,
she battles grimly
to stay within a monthly limit
that could bring Christmas to a country town
for a generation.

A wren species not seen since federation,
is wounded by a lunging feral cat.
It crash lands on Hilda’s shoulder.
She swats it into the ocean,
like it’s just another blow fly.

A news report,
highlighting decades of warming,
captures her attention for the time it takes
the critically endangered bird
to drown in a rock pool.
Useless modern thermometers,
Hilda murmurs as she waddles
from her mobile mansion to the lookout
The grandest solar model
could have powered her satellite televisions
and
 arsenal of hair dryers
but Hilda can’t bear to waste good oil and coal.
She’s ordered a truckload of each,
to supply her camping needs.
A traumatized dolphin submerges,
after witnessing her masturbating
before a waxwork likeness
of her favourite fossil fuel lobbyist.

Thunder confirms the sky has taken offence.

Beyond the frothy cauldron where the beach was,

monstrous surf is indistinguishable from bleak skies.
Ephemeral billabongs and rivers merge.
Hilda’s camp site is a shrinking island.
Cocooned inside her mobile palace
she snorts derisively at an article
on the correlation between climate change
and extreme weather events.
She’s oblivious,
until her monument to the fossil fuel industry
is launched into the Pacific.

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