Academic journal article Hecate

Dreaming of Pineapples

Academic journal article Hecate

Dreaming of Pineapples

Article excerpt

Dreaming of pineapples

   That night I dreamt of pineapples
   and when my cousin asked where
   I wanted to go, what to see,
   I said I wanted to know how it was now

   Along the road to the Sunshine Coast,
   at Nambour, the Big Pineapple stood.
   I hadn't seen it for thirty years
   but I remembered the Golden Circle juice cans

   In the paddocks Conrad dug in
   pineapple heads. A sixth generation farmer,
   he showed me the four growings: roothead
   to leaf, to flower, to 18-month gold-orange fruit

   'We used to kill one crow and string it up
   to keep the others away,' he said. 'Smart birds,
   sit when I come out with a stick,
   only fly when they see a gun.'

   'Half the farms have gone into sugar-cane,'
   he said. 'Pineapples take a long time to
   grow. We only get 30 cents each one.'
   City-bred, I looked at the open sky

   The tourist sugarcane train had trundled
   its last lot of passengers; the front gate
   closed. My cousin was looking for me.
   Conrad gave me a three-headed pineapple

   'He's twenty-five and single,' the gate-man
   said. … 
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