Academic journal article Antipodes

Kind Fire

Academic journal article Antipodes

Kind Fire

Article excerpt

im. Seamus Heaney

Not the digging of potatoes

but the forging of iron implements

produced those shoulders and

the biceps I pressed-

a boy's hand on the father's bulge

a swelling roughly the same shape

as this hammer's head

I still have, along with his chisel

as thick as my wrist was then.

Tools hand-made, part-time

in time stolen from the boss

at the Victorian Railways Erecting Shopone

of the great sheds among many

in the long dry grass with the Scotch

thistles out past the Abattoirs

on the way to the back beach:

ribbed sand, soldier crabs, an oily creek, eels

a bike ride from home

sitting on the little padded seat

my iron-framed perch between his arms

near the handle bars

his breath a bellows on my neck

his kind fire always there

as he peddled me into the Southerly. …

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