Academic journal article Antipodes

Trampolining for Chris

Academic journal article Antipodes

Trampolining for Chris

Article excerpt

The fattest eternity is childhood,

minutes stuffed with waiting

and the just- there world

deferred to an afterlife of joy

where magically we outgrow

all that might tell us what to do:

we sat cross-legged on the floor, quiet

as the glad-wrapped biscuits on the supper-table,

a summer school-night boiling over

with nightmare prayers

in somebody's Adelaide living room,

fed air by a cooler on rollers,

our pastor bellowing at the helm,

hell's ore in his flame-cheeks,

Gorbachev, Thatcher and Reagan

flying round his head with bombs:

their squabbling might just cause

the roaring-back of God-the-parent.

The grown-ups stamped their thonged

and sandaled feet on the carpet:

the mortgages and what they worked for,

the chip pan bubbling every night at six,

the hand-me-downs all forced to fit:

oh take it Satan, it's all yours . . .

Any day we'd be whooshed up to heaven;

and the kids at school, their parents,

cousins, dogs,

sucked up and funneled

into hell's gated suburb, far out

where no public transport would travel. …

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