Robert Verdon, #326, Ten Pound Pom

the hat flicked off my head

and flew over the Red Sea

which wasn’t red

the hat was red

I still remember, it was 1958

the Fair Sky was unfair that day

it’d be  waiting for us there

in Australia, said Dad

and my mother nodded

after that, we went to Yemen

then called ‛Aden’

and poorer than home

— no doubt poorer still today —

the smiling young man in bare feet

on the scorching road

was from Kenya I think and

he and Dad spoke in Swahili

(Dad was there in the war)

till we found a dark shop with stuffed toys

hanging over the door.

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