Friday, July 4, 2008

Jeffrey Harpeng: MARKED

arms blue with prison tatts
on his shoulder a spider
stuck in its own web

After the bank robbery he went bush, roustabout and shearer. One job he lived in a tin shed an hour from town. Didn't drink with the crew in town. Shouldered slabs of tinnies and a bottle of whiskey back. Just in the door a termite floorboard cracked and he fell into. . . couldn't budge. So he drank a shout to himself and himself and himself.

The sun snailed twice across the sky.

And the kookaburras laughed, even at the brown snake that basked at the door...

Mid-fifties, he keeps his hair long, to flip in case he meets an old screw.

by Jeffrey Harpeng
Macgregor, Qld., Australia
first published in
Quartet (Teneriffe, Qld.: Post Pressed, 2008)

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