Almanac Poetry (in the time of COVID): (Uncle) Bob Cullen

Bob Cullen


Lockdown dream last night. 29 August 2020:


A beautiful clear Canberra sky.
On a hill overlooking Parliament House,
I was asked by a group of public servants
where to put the new railway station.
I had grandiose plans for a bridge
linking where we were, to a new platform,
either on the grassy top or underground.


Later on
away from official business, a family reunion.
Lots of cousins, aunts and uncles, milling around the city centre, ‘Civic’,
Chatting and laughing but without direction.


Noticed uncle Bob, a group of four or five, to the side
He was getting a bit, ‘toey’
He wanted to get to a pub
He wanted to see the last session of ‘the Test’.
He needed to be there, for that first ball.
A familiar scene


We all made it, to some pub in the suburbs
Our group of thirty-odd, the only ones there.
The Irish publican and his wife were charming.
She took our orders and rejoiced in our names,
all from Ireland, but from a long time ago.


Bob, and his boys, from Wagga, were already seated.
They had prime position,
a table in front of the large TV.
They had made it, in time.


It promised to be a great afternoon.




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About Kieran Dempsey

'Territorian', born, school and Uni in Canberra. Left Public Service, went back to Uni in Melbourne late 80s. Taught history and coached sport - St Bernard's Essendon 89-96, Haileybury 97-99, Scotch College 2000-21. Retired.

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