Safe House

1 July 1998

for David Quinlivan and the Wingello Rural Fire Brigade
caught in the fire near Johnstones Creek on New Years Day

Turn this house inside out
braced and joisted by a man with a builder’s smile
he hummed as he worked and hoisted tiomber and tile
turn this house upside down
he’s dead now and he built ir
likewise tree stumps out in the forest
I could tell you which man, which tree, which forest
he built it and he left it in our good hands
red lights hover over the oval
men are working
unloading the injured, lifting the injured, loading th einjured
men are loading and unloading in a documentary come to our town
I am decoding red lights that hover
the poet whispers in my good ear
Are uo waiting for a UFO?
That’s a helicopter, man!

this is my helicopter come to het me
this is my town, this is my safe house
the trees in my garden step in close to nuzzle me
stupid member of their unnumbered, numberless cabal
they put me down on the ground, give me their breath
uising me using them
the back door bangs
they lift their heads
I need you so bad!
they’ve melted into background
become scenery with a whisper
they’ve gone but not for good
the creative writing student
puppyfat and fringe
needs to use the outdoor dunny
I was trying to impress you. I’m sorry.
Now you’ll never know the end to this story.
I’m sorry. I’m not going to tell you.

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