Your hair was so yellow

By | 3 December 2008

Here in Great-grandpa's hut
an invocation of eucalyptus.
Mist appears most mornings on this ridge
caught in rough branches' cobwebs.
I rebuild what is worth preserving
employing hand tools from the past
my favourite, his antique adze.
Hammering ricochets down the valley
silencing the birds' barracking.

After bathing in the dam's bracing water
I love to dry off in the bliss of the sun.
Every few weekends I visit town
for live music at one of many pubs
built when this area thrived on gold.
My fingers tap to fiddle & harmonica.
I observe the usual courtesies
but if asked too many questions
rise and leave, my drink unfinished.

At the hut I play Lou Reed & Tom Waits
read Ondaatje's poems, or Carver's
skip rope, punch a bag, snack on cereal.
The Internet meets many needs.
On some days I drive to a distant town
a relief teacher of curious kids.
As night falls wallabies eat my scraps.
All I lack is someone like you
to share the music, to shake out her hair.

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