Clare Valley, South Australia
On a winter afternoon
the town of Clare reminded me of Ohakune.
As evidence I offered the purple sky,
the silence of old stone and altitude.
Its Taihape, you said.
You pointed to empty shops and a window full of R M Williams.
When we saw Lake Torrens,
I told you I had an uncle called Jimmy Torrens.
I tried to remember the names of my father’s Irish uncles
and you talked about a schoolteacher, sent to Whanganui for her health
and this is how we went on
until we arrived at the Modern Open-Cut mine,
which started just after the famine.
The cold wind there made my eyes water.
You said nothing either.