Barossa Nocturne

The others married and then moved away.
But Ern, the youngest of my brothers, stayed
and helped my husband work the farm. We’ve kept
the boys’ room for him still. You’ll see it through
the peppers in the yard. He always goes
off early in the evenings – books you know.
Always the reader, Ern, but secret yet –
and selfish too.

He ’ll overturn that lamp one night. l’ve seen
it burn ’till morning. Reading, yet! It seems
that parents always spoil the youngest son.
I told my husband we should have the power
put in that room already. Only then
will I feel safe again. You can’t depend
on Ern these days; besides, he ’s eighty-one
and shaky now.

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