While the other boys were drawing their guns
and falling into the ruins of an open pavilion
of sky and pines, I was standing on the onion-
skin of a boulder, watching my father running
in to bowl. The oval had been reclaimed
from paddocks dark at the edges with rusting
farm machinery and Angus cattle. Boys were
dropping to earth mined with rabbit holes
and erosion. Through smoke from spent caps
I saw him waving, his arms like semaphore.
When I stood to wave back I was shot.
Playing dead, I heard the bright applause
of players, followed by a name clipped off
at the root: Well bowled, Col. I looked over
the bodies of boys and saw him running
into the outfield, his flannel shirt and baggy
trousers flapping, unlikely as a magic trick
in the middle of an innings in Protestant heat
high in the ranges of the Great Divide.