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Poems by Meg Mack

1
MEANDERING
Childhood Poems
COMING HOME FROM QUILPIE
Beneath the hot dry desert sun
Bare bones lie parched and white.
Red dust swirls. Magpies dance
Beneath its glaring light.
The wind whips up the tumbleweed
To roll across cracked ground,
And cockatoos scream in the sky.
An eagle-hawk soars round.
Emus feed beside the track
On the flat red dusty plain.
As the engine hurtles past
They chase the Quilpie train.
Blackboys with their grass skirts stand
On flat and treeless earth.
Tall anthills dotted here and there
Are of enormous girth.
Railwaymen shout as we pass.
“Paper! The fettlers cry,
We throw papers from the windows
As the steam train rattles by.
On through the night we tunnel;
Stop at Roma in the morning
For breakfast, rush on board
At the guardsman’s warning.
It’s getting greener now.
There’s no more swirling sand.
Tufts of blue-green stunted scrub
Replace the dry red land.
Kangaroos are grazing
Where the green is growing most.
Sometimes there’s a creek or pond.
We’re getting closer to the coast.
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