A DREAM AT SUNSET

I am returning home over the dunes of the Todd,
crossing the causeway toward the netball complex,
a fudge of colours, where my daughter's ghost sinks the winning goal.
I thread my way through Eastside to the cries from the cricket nets,
to horses setting off from stables under the horn of Spencer Hill.

Our house clings to the slope, and I climb in the glow of sunset,
land rippling away to the orange MacDonnells. Perched among
the golden pods of the cedars, a metallic magpie spins madly
in the wind, and I ascend to balcony slate.

Inside, my daughters as they once were sit motionless on chocolate tiles
enchanted by MY GIRL, still sparking magic
after its eleventh screening. They wear matching clogs
and mauve vests, their denim hats folded behind single sunflowers.
In the Dining Room, the grandfather clock beats away the years,
and faces flicker, flowering into teens.

In this dream, I creep upstairs to my study, to books strewn
across my roll-top desk. My younger self cherishes hopes
of overseas teaching, and study notes are fanned over a Persian rug.
Autumn leaves brush the window, although winter darkness looms.
The younger man remains ignorant of gathering shadows - still invisible

in the glaze of rosy light.

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