May 7, 1997

Poem: "Oh, Alonya's OK"

"Oh, Alonya's OK"

They don't see the water retreat
across the eyes of their children,
and hear the love pumping out over the sand,
"that is sunset", they say to themselves,
missing the bubbles in the blood. for while they comb their children's brains
with the sandpaper speeches they make
in parliaments of polished black wood,
and hear the applause from their side
they forget to wonder: "What does she think?"
she's been reading "green" books, and she
writes poetry, and she goes on camps.
they forget to ask: "What does she think?"
and then they put gas pipes through Parks,
and chem plants on rare birds' islands,
and they mine Parks for parliament walls,
and they put white concrete tongues
through coloured suburbs, and they forget
to ask: "What does she think?". That time
she said, "But, Dad ..." Why did I hurry away?
and when they hear the dreadful news
that she has immolated herself
with a can of petrol, they cannot believe
nor should they believe that it
has happened, and they always speak of her
as if she's alive, and they lock her room
as it was forever and ever and ever.

Denis Kevans

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