Summer Holiday

Yes, back already. Just this morning from
my holiday in Bower. This year I stayed
with Hilda’s family there. They lived along
the Blanchtown road. Farmed there for years. These days
they’re closer in – near town. They’ve let
the farm on shares to Schrapels’ boys. Not strong
at all, our Albert. Heart, you know. And thin!
A matchstick yet!
Between ourselves, a trial for Hilda – him
so active once. Why stay, I told them once
in Bower? There’s not that much to hold
them there. The Council sold
the Hall last year (the Habels bought it for the iron).
You knew the Co-op failed and now you’ll find
it quieter since they closed the railway line.

A trial, I said, for Hilda. Albert frets
a little in that chair. Perhaps the day
can drag in Bower if you’re not walking yet.
And so I’d wheel him to the Store, each way
a mile or so. Some days the heat would slow
us down a little. February gets
quite warm in Bower. Bert’s Tamarisk trees are dead –
the drought you know.
We’d wait a while for papers, mail and bread,
call in at Henschkes’ (by the way, they send
their best respects) and then I’d wheel
him home. I had a real good look around. I feel the better for it too. Next year, God willing, I’ll go down again. They’re getting on and Hilda feels the strain.

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