III First Memories of a Disparate Group

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He looks from a window
at foxes’ footprints in the snow.
Pristine stamps
that he’d like to lift and hoard.
Wales, during the war;
his father looms, Victorian, in the hall
his gun broken across his arm.
He and his sisters slide under the kitchen table
willing the noise to stop
when the ARP let off shots up on the hill.

Western New South Wales;
a boy brooding on nothing
watches army convoys go in heat-waver
through flat wheat country
the trucks seeming unmanned.

A child in Queensland
wakes from an afternoon sleep
to the smell of food.
Her parents sit in green canvas chairs.
They are drinking beer and the glasses are tall;
they look cold and golden.
The floor is yellow boards.
Her mother smiles
and she feels excluded.

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