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Portholes in Your Coffin

Page 7

Janice Florence

Packet of Turf thanks love. Old man won’t let me smoke at home. Mind if I have one in the kitchen? Just on tick? Hooroo. You wouldn’t read about it in Pix would you? That girl of yours always got her head in the clouds. Must be all that study. Do you think it’s good for her? She’ll only get married. We want her to make something of herself. I wanted to be a teacher. Thinks she’s too good for us now. Too intellectual and arty-farty. She could do better than living in this old place. Houses round here aren’t worth much. It’s had the chips. She’s going to be a teacher. Work in a country school. Might marry a grazier. Won’t get much for this when we sell it. Depressing these old places.

Old streets, familiar houses settled into the earth, houses breathing stories. Streets unchanging in their order. Ancestors buried in the Melbourne General. Prim, self-righteous, repressed bunch, who nevertheless liked a laugh and a song. I am rooted in the asphalt, in the cobblestones under the sparse leafy poplars. Amess, Station, Canning, Drummond, Pigdon, Park. From these I take my bearings.


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