On a hot summer’s day
on the driveway of Tom Collins House,
near the path up Melon Hill, an old stained
VW Beetle stood like a wreck awaiting the final ball,
tattooed by time, loved for its every spluttering mile.
The bonnet was up, Lucas was tinkering
and we were talking away, away
from literary gossip, away from farm work’s
lonesome nights in the bush. We talked
against the built-in obsolescence of
modern manufacturing, we shared
the sentimentality we had for old things -
cars, his skateboards, my manual typewriters.
Inside Tom Collins House, Lucas
built and set a possum trap.
He could turn a hand
to more than words, he could
turn an ankle to skateboarding, too.
Where’s he gone now
to tinker and build? Where
is he setting his next narrative?
Now, skaters at the suburban park
leave a space as they hurtle and turn,
police scan traffic
for the patchwork Vee-dub,
and I smile at the possum stain
in our old back shed and think
of Lucas tinkering away.
- Andrew Burke
- 1st December, 2013