Issue ThirteenIssue Thirteen PoetryPoetry

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By Bill Cotter

Memories of hay carting in the early 1960’s, Western Victoria


The Bedford coughs, lurches, and stops by the hay shed.

The door grates, slams and, like a monkey,

I scramble out and perch on the bales already in place,

Afraid that I might unwittingly stir a brown snake

From its customary siesta in the afternoon sun.

Dust and seeds splutter up as I lift and drop each bale into place.

Stalks make a forced entry through my gloves.

The iron roof whistles, mutters, complains about the heat

And the distant paddock struggles through the mirages,

Set on sliding into the river.

Finally, the afternoon folds upon itself.

The last bale heaves itself up to me.


The truck talks itself into starting,


And we move off.