Here’s your daddy’s Valiant. Now you can start growing
up from where you left off. The first baby came and then the second and then the fifth.
When the kids are older, I said, we’ll take them surfing at Jan Juc.
Then you drove one of our girls down the highway to show her
the canola fields when they opened their hands bright yellow.
The photo of you on your bike is still stuck to the fridge –
when you were young, the breeze barely found its way from under
the carport and into your room.
The Australian grass – the heat that prickles,
my dad always drove us to the beach. They were the best days I can remember.
The fringed orange bedspread, the psychedelic lamp,
the vacuumed carpet. I remember the smell of furniture polish
on Saturdays and the photo of my dad when he was young.
He always said he dreamed of living on a farm, I can hear the sweep
of clean silver when the waves start diving in.
I can still see the kid who drowned there.
Everything was sepia in those days – everything got passed down
with a child’s smile. Even the clink of bottles lined up on the edge
of the lawn and your dad’s smoker’s breath kept you inside
his jacket. It always felt like the early mornings
you come home and feel happy nightshift is over.
Dad was always mowing the grass – the lawns were always turning yellow.
We used to take long drives into the country and stop at the river.
I always wanted to be one of those 80’s boys jumping off
the rope. The highway has always been so long –
the street lights are new and it can now take 110. It was one of the kids’ turn
to take a ride. She sat on the hot vinyl seat with her new sunglasses on.
You cruised her down the Western Highway
without the gravel and the dust. I must say it was you
who somehow kept up the swell and arched it over.
When you took out the car last you got stuck
with it behind the pub. Your tone sounded grounded
over the phone – you said, it’s getting dark now
and the men are getting drunk. The tow truck isn’t here;
it’s Friday and I just wanna come home.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 92: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Aidan Coleman Reviews New and Selected Poems of Anna Wickham
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Ali Whitelock’s and my heart crumples like a coke can
- Editorial to AFRO AUSTRALIAN
- 4 Works by Guled Abdulwasi
- The Platonic Split
- you have no idea how far i swam
- To the still
- Garden of Grace
- Bloody QnA
- The Physics of Self
- Life Poem
- go ahead, call it magic
- Chalk to Charcoal
- (un) learning
- 3 Sisters
- Blood Fuel
- Raelee Lancaster Reviews Alison Whittaker’s Blakwork
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman
- Review Short: Simeon Kronenberg’s Distance