Digging It In's image

Digging It In


My father's spade
has the hollow sound of regret
Goodbye Dad but he doesn't look up
where the cannas once grew by the drain
sour and stubborn he keeps on digging.

The melancholy acres stretch away
behind him the trees already dying
a crow flaps crying
along the boundary fence where once
the timber stood.

I have disappointed him once again
another dream gone west
I won't be here to listen to his plans
to rechannel the salty creek
replant the trees rejuvenate the farm
he will lease it out for a pittance
eventually selling it off for next to nothing
run down one sheep to the acre

but all the way back
driving across the Nullarbor
over the cattle grids
through the dog-proof fence
an empty drum on the boundary
I will hear the sound of his spade
savagely breaking the clods
for a kitchen garden.

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