pelican watercolour at Wynnum Foreshore, 1981 | for Dad
I sit on cyan timber slats
at your feet, start a poem for you.
Years from now, you’ll let your art go
but here: you’re still sketching
in art college, painting a watercolour.
A pelican on a telegraph pole
bristles its feathers to a gust
as you gently flourish the coastline
with brushstrokes, curl a hushed breeze
through marram grass.
I hear a thick glob splatter
down your back. Good grief, the reek
of digested fish guts my nostrils. I can’t help
but laugh as you peel off
your shirt, pack your supplies,
drive us home. Sitting beside you, bare feet
on the dash, I go to give you my shirt
and forget this is a poem.