A week of leaving (part 4)


Speak to teenagers

like they are real people.

Scatter chocolates

on school tables before class –

when you have their attention

admit to being young once.

Share some of your truths

(hard and soft-centred).

Tell them you do not know

what is best for them

but when you were their age

you wrote poems and didn’t stop

because nobody else saw the point;

now your daughter the artist

sees beauty in the human


Your day jobs included

milking cows, packing frozen fish,

picking strawberries and cleaning


Once, in an outback town

trains rattled through like the ghosts

of ghosts, you sat on the earth

in a circle of first people eating goanna

and this is a memory

you don’t give thanks for nearly enough.