By | 1 February 2022

History is coiled in my cells
from this land, land beyond sea
black loch, coarse heather, farmed croft, a wooden boat.
German burial of an Australian airman
jack boots and red segments of flag
emptiness absorbs Bealiba station.
In my blood, claimed land stolen by an imperial greed
a shredded testament
dust of the First People, rocks and sheep
fleece of prosperity, wild river, dwindling bush.
Coastal salt spray of Port Melbourne
oily rainbows, red bricks, sheet metal, passing ships.
Tradesman, minister, the glitter
of sapphire, diamond and gold rings.
New Hebrides mid-wife, missionary.
Seymour, droplets of the Goulbourn River.
I am the dead, the dying.

Gippsland, Moe, a village in France
sawn wood, hammer, handmade squares and plane
living in a tent, generations before I was born
the fire that razed their house, plentiful bush.
Great grandfather walking into the dam
his damage flowing from grandmother to mother to me.
Running creek past the dairy, her cows
and paddocks, orchids picked, passing train
memories my mother no longer can retrieve.
My history jagged fragments.
I am the living, from the silence I speak.

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