North-west of Goondiwindi

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I’m about 97 miles north-west of Goondiwindi
I’ve got a road-train indicating: time to move along
and as I pass him on his right
I dip my headlights into the night
and the voice in my head it’s playin’ a north-bound song

I went down south, to see my mother’s brother
laid into the dirt to a butcherbird’s song
last wattle laid by his graveside
winter sun spoke his last goodbye
they were singing a hymn, but I heard a north-bound song

I’m a coupla hundred north-west of Goondiwindi,
got a road-train right behind: moving me along,
the moon’s out shining as my guide
memories of his last days fill my mind
as the voice in my head keeps playing a north-bound song

he always said he’d move up back to Queensland
but the years fled by and he’d left his run too long
and the last days of his life …
was it when the diabetes took his sight?
left sitting in a chair, singing his north-bound song

I’m 600 odd miles north-west of Goondiwindi
I see a truck stop (I’m coffee craving) but I’m moving right along
the sun’s up rising on my right
I’ve been driving since late last night
while the voice in my head keeps playing a north-bound song

this voice spins my head, playing a north-bound song
this voice in my head keeps playing his north-bound song

© 2016 Melinda Irvine

This poem features in my book of multimedia poetry, Paperbark Wetlands.

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6 responses to “North-west of Goondiwindi”

  1. […] wattle lingered late that August year you left winter’s long […]

  2. […] interstate to the family farm (despite promising faithfully to return to his beloved Queensland), he never made it back and I find that so […]

  3. harulawordsthatserve Avatar

    Beautiful. So moving, both emotionally and physically with the rhythm and the indications of time, it’s a real journey of a poem. Thanks for sharing 🙂 H x

    1. Melinda J. Irvine Avatar

      Thank you and yes it’s a very personal story. 🙂

  4. Melinda J. Irvine Avatar

    You are so welcome, have been wanting to post this for a while. Can’t wait to see you next week. xx

  5. Maya Harris Avatar

    So many feelings but can’t squeeze into words to express how wonderful I find this. Thank you.