Come safely home — I haven ’t heard the way
farewells are said in sing-song cadence called
Barossa-deutsch since last I saw the haze
of blue Salvation jane that skirts the walls
of tidy, spare, square, Lutheran towers that stand
beside a green-framed range whose shadow spans
a march of thirty years away from home.
Time and training curb odd turns of phrase
and social pressures dampen dialect down.
Though phrasing fades, the memories of those days
revive in light and warmth that friends spread round
in midnight reminiscences and when
the travellers must leave they take with them
a parting wish that they come safely home.
To warm, worn homes whose wide verandahs run
round walls of dark, grained bluestone set where hills
hump low like euros lying in the sun
by vine-combed valleys. Homes near bells that still
ring Sundays round with slow, blown peals that wind
down reaches of bleak, sleepless nights and find
where latent memories lie — and bring them home.