Poem – Jennifer Compton



Our classroom in the school up on the jagged hill
was often buffeted every whichway by the southerly
and then the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.

The creek cooling our soft drink on strings
stole one bottle for a downstream purpose;
Dad laughed and Mum threw up her hands.

On the bus to school he said above my head
– I see your girlfriend died. The other man
was stunned. Oh, Marilyn Monroe. Yes, sad.
The grown men had a facetious way with them.

So, who won the war? Mum turned to leave.
We did. Or you wouldn’t be sitting there.
Where would I be sitting? But Mum had exited.

Every city has a sinister place
and ours was the Kelburn Viaduct.
Our Gap, our West Gate Bridge.

Jennifer Compton


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