Poem: Telling their stories

  • Pre-migration family photo. [Image: Margaret Simmons]
    Pre-migration family photo. [Image: Margaret Simmons]

Here’s Maggie at three

With her family and a friend

Mum has forgotten who

Why so pensive, Maggie?

There’s my hanky in my pinny pocket

How well we match

There’s mum with her pearls and cardie

And slippers?

I must ask why before it’s too late

Why do you look so tired Dad?

Oh, it’s too late

And there’s baby brother in a dress

How jolly he looks, and White

Soon we will be leaving these sad sepia streets

‘We’re going to Australia,’ Dad said

‘Where’s Australia?’ said Mum

And we will live

In a small country town

With two pubs, one doctor

A factory and a footy team

We’ll take a ship across the sea

Where nasty clowns wait at the equator

To paint me with ice-cream

Where my brother will walk the decks

Slapping his hands together

Barking like a seal, ‘Ow, ow, ow’

And Dad will get sick from overeating

And Mum will cry for her mother

And I shall tell their stories …


Words leave my brain and ping on the page

Like my daughter’s yellow gumboots stomping in a puddle

Other times, they flutter down like dead moth’s wings

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