Round 8 – Richmond v Sydney: The Drive Home

thedrivehomekatebirrell2016 copy

The Drive Home – click to enlarge

Into the dark

of night,





a dwelling

of God’s own.


Gates down

ding, ding and

BT sounding,


kids in the back,

a gentle

idle-engine, humming.





iridescent light, flashing scarlet,

the night pauses,

for a bit.


It’s over

it’s over

turn it off.


The ball


non-Richmond end

22 tickings, chances



Keep going

keep going,

a pass,

a chip

and a little one over the top,




a good bounce

to a long boot

to where….


No, don’t turn it off



Limbs retract

as shadows loom, somewhere

and breathless rumbling, pummels

the tracks

clack, clack

in time,

Broady bound.



a mark

with tickings, somewhere

to go


it’s Pentecost

and confirmation,

a holy spirit, now


gifts, just perhaps.


The outside din


and a siren, shrill


oh, for a kick



Turn it up,

turn it up


Be quiet,

be quiet


Lloyd for goal

45 out

at an angle, odd

it goes,



through the middle.




A rising fever

with a maddened crowd

and BT’s bellows, and

dashboard shudders

and thumpings,



as panes wound down

to remove the stifled heat

from the air,

and the air from the stifled heat;


and the dark from the dark, darkness

of a season




Melodies flung, da de da


with shimmers

of cheer

and glory,


and Allelulia

spreading a ripple, wide

across sharpened shadows of northern abodes

and all around.


On this,

now bright and clear night.





All AFL Round 8 stories are here.


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Captured the feeling beautifully, Kate, religious fervour and all. Putting the scarf out on the drive home is a thrill for kids big and small. Kudos

  2. Brilliant, Kate. You had me there with you.
    I’ll have what she was having.

  3. The power of one point!

  4. Great stuff, Kate.
    Most enjoyable.

  5. I did exactly the same thing, Kate!
    Nothing more exhilarating than driving with the windows wound all the way down, cold air rushing in, and the best song in the world blaring from the radio.
    It was a good night.

  6. yes, Kate, i was thinking Ecclesiastes at one point, a time for even Richmond to win a close one etc

    scarf draped provocatively across my desk partition, king of the office in a worlds of plucked Swans, on top of the world, for a week, at least.

  7. Thanks for the comments all. I thought I’d nailed the idea and words Monday morning, but then spent the rest of the day trying to chisel it out ‘properly’ whatever that is….once you start, you can’t stop.never the less, I hadn’t planned on spending a whole day on it!! Surely I had better things to be doing? Obviously not.

    Anyway, a classic moment, inspired as much by the radio commentary, and the fact that we couldn’t see what was happening, along with the disillusioned 11 yr old in the back seat who didn’t want to listen to what he thought would happen.

    We were in fact stopped at the Buckley street Xing in Essendon … Forever etched n my mind now with the evening.

    Make the most of this week tiger fans

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Sensational as always,Kate

  9. Chris Rees says

    Missed this back then. I wonder if S. Lloyd of Deniliquin has read it. Its wonderful. You are so multi-talented.

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