1986 / Ian C Smith

Beyond a virgilia-framed front gate

in a white picket fence, eclogues for rent,

we dwelt, tired after exploration’s weight.

Behind the cottage, stacked firewood, our tent

for friends we post-carded when overseas,

first Christmas since forsaking our backpacks.

Wisteria shawled our garden, lured bees,

our widowed neighbour’s radio talked back.

We fell in love with a mutt at the pound,

handy back lane seclusion for our car,

displayed quaint mementoes to settle down.

Across the road a bikie played guitar.

I forecasted in summer it won’t rain.

The tent leaked.  We moved on.  Traces remain.     

Ian C Smith’s work has been published in Antipodes, BBC Radio 4 Sounds, cordite, The Dalhousie Review, Griffith Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Southword, & The Stony Thursday Book.  His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide).  He writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, and on Flinders Island.

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