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What a certain song on the radio brings


The ripe odour of plums in a round red bowl.


And living with Greeks in Sydney in the seventies.

In the heat of the kitchen the women cook, smoke, flick out table cloths.

Can I help? They shake their head, no! wave me out.

At the table Vageli drips watermelon onto his new white flares, jumps

swears in Italian, his mate Angelo snorts and slaps his thighs, rolls off his chair.

His girlfriend searches her purse for a cigarette.

Part-time DJ George, in pyjama shorts and pimpled face

finishes a can of coke, belches.


Mostly we eat together, the curtains pulled against the heat.

Spinning fans go side to side. The sudden summer showers.


Alex, in his blue railway uniform, ties his tie for work,

taps ash into a saucer, laughs again at Paul Hogan on TV

and in that moment forgets the racists at Te Awamutu July 1972,

the jackpot lost and leaving New Zealand forever.



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