Salt crusted bleached bones,
skeletons of long dead forest giants,
tangle as high-tide driftwood
along the sugar cane coast.
Upturned tree stumps like deep sea squid
clutch, with bone-dry roots,
weathered black basalt rocks.
We walk, as two.
My only first marriage child, a man.
Overdue salvage of jettisoned emotions
wobble up the tourist track,
Mon Repos to The Heads.
Bundaberg flood tide,
all washed up.
We talk, shallow
along the shore of us.
Pass men on bikes with kids, with dogs,
serial joggers, time on their wrists.
A startled woman, ears trapped to elsewhere smile
casts to a deep time,
a distant boy floating on custodial tides,
drifting further away on each ebb.
We return, to
Kanaka-built basalt wall,
rocks muscled from blood-red soil,
slaved away to sweeten the tastes of England.
This engineered wall aligns east
to Pacific island homes,
cultured to shuck Britannia’s mothers of pearl
away from the work of dark children.
Something there is that doesn’t love this memory jogger
that binds us to our core.
queensland regional meetingphotos by jeremy burton