Almanac Poetry: ‘Friday Bourbon’ – Tommy Mallet



Friday Bourbon


Friday bourbons in the yard
hit the spot.
All four of us slow down,
ease out of our pain.


Reclaim time.


We finished early, just for this,
none of us tell our wives.


We’ll be home soon enough,
do chores, love our kids,
but need to inhale.


Drizzle’s given way to the laziest sun,
an easy breeze,
be fucked if everything becomes anything less
than perfect.


When it’s time to move,
I have to drag my back,
as if it’s a separate thing to me,
the bastard,
the battered bastard.


“Need one of the saws for the weekend,” I tell
the boss.
“Farm work. My Stihl is back
in Tassie,
and the Ryobi’s not up to it.”


“Yeah, so?” he says. “Take it.”


We’re at that awkward stage.
He needs a bushie on the job,
but I still ask rather than take favours.


Another can in my other hand,
the saw feels end of day heavy,
as I heave it from the work ute into the tray of mine.


Placing the chain bar between the safety bar of the Ryobi,
and, simultaneously, visa versa,
is often tricky,
69ing two saws always is, all those teeth,
the pull cord, it’s housing,
but it slots in, in one fluid motion,
as I head for the cabin,
ignition, and home.


That slot,
combined with everything,
is the sweetest thing.
Victory, a nod to self.


The awkward 19 year old
several lifetimes ago,
lost, hopeless,
washing up in the bush after stealing all that money


from the mafia.



Setting up in an ice cold dairy shed,
working alone.



They’re too young,
the other three,
think I’m third generation,
but, sometimes, I know.


The ute fires up,
and the bourbon is gone,
and the workmates,
and yard,


while the sun continues to set,
along the ridge,
that carries us all.



More from Tommy Mallet can be read Here



We’ll do our best to publish two books in the lead-up to Christmas 2021. The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020  and the 2021 edition to celebrate the Dees’ magnificent premiership season(title is up for discussion at the moment!). These books will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers and Demons season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from these two Covid winters. Enquiries HERE


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