My father spent most of his adult life
working for the Commonwealth Public Service, shunting files
from one end of his long desk to the other.
When he died he left half-written
a History of Australian Immigration,
only half-joking when he willed that I should finish it.
Why didn’t he tell me
how little would ever be completed?
letters left unanswered, accounts not settled, promises
never fulfilled, the parts of that motorcycle
unreassembled, lying ten years
on a concrete floor in Westgarth St, people
dying without warning, mid sentence,
taking the next words with them.
From: Walking to Point Clear: Poems 1983-2002
Publisher: Brandl & Schlesinger, Blackheath, 2005