She meant vegan, of course

4 May 2016

The little lady in Recovery Room
had a gouty great toe – was nasty
with ascending infection.
Her foot was angry, but
she seethed

about Christmas
spent with her daughter.
‘A bogan,’ she said.
‘It was a bogan Christmas.’
Disapproval drew her lips

tight into a purse.
She spoke in bursts
and short sentences.
I did not have to pry
the purse open to hear

the rest of her family
no longer ate meat
but were not content
to stay vegetarians.
‘They’ve all become

bogans,’ she said –
‘No suet pudding.
No custard.
No cream.
No brandy butter.

It was chickpea chaff
–organic –
and soy something
for dessert.’
Thin smile then –

an expression too mean
to meet her eyes.
‘Soy something
doesn’t go with booze –
I kept the bottle for myself.’

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