Fade away … (Highway Patrolman)

12 February 2012
We’re sworn by blood
and how blood trickles away ...
one brother went to the middle east,
another to track his own isolated sovereignty
while I am just bound to stay ...

The night’s silence jars my joints; an owl sparks the death-feather that someone has passed. But ‘Who’ is that someone? No breeze on the veranda under the moon’s deadly milk. Drunks pass the house and throw beer bottles into my hedge … is this the Australian Dream we’re all fighting for? I couldn’t handle a ‘missed call’ from Afghanistan tonight. I’m disturbed sometimes by the calls I receive. My Brother is accepted as a warrior for the Establishment; but the Establishment questions his legitimacy as a warrior for his people at home, on his country where he is at ease …

Just to hear your voices, my Brothers, shakes the death feather away; no death tonight, but it’s just a fade gone sway …

We promised each other loyalty … until the end. Sealed; our tide of brotherhood and love. Screw the mining company! Screw what they’re doing to our land! Tonight I’m just another person in waiting. Waiting to reinstate a love, as blood trickles on blood. Brothers never fall for Brothers … and Brothers never should …

a butterfly’s wings
capture love in a mirror,
holding a brother ...
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Samuel Wagan Watson

About Samuel Wagan Watson

Samuel Wagan Watson Watson is a Brisbane-based writer of Germanic and Wunjaburra ancestry, and the recipient of the 2018 Patrick White Award. His poetry collections include Love Poems and Death Threats (UQP, 2014) and Smoke Encrypted Whispers (UQP, 2004), which won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry at the 2005 NSW Premier’s Awards. His work has also appeared in Caring for Country (Phoenix Education, 2017), Cordite, The Saturday Paper and the Chicago Quarterly Review.

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