Mindy Gill completed her Honours in Creative Writing at QUT. She has won the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Voiceworks, Tincture, Hecate, Australian Poetry Journal, and Island Magazine. She is an editor at Peril Magazine.
Home is the Solace of Small Towns (Springbrook 1991)
Eucalypts filter light like fly screen
onto the tan brick corner store,
a sign advertises Cornettos,
OPEN painted in soil-red.
My mother buys a newspaper,
two cans of Coke, counts change
from dawn-pink five-dollar notes.
The sun curls away as my father watches
the edge of town, devout
to the quiet of valleys.
He looks up at the grey gum bellies
of baby magpies, suspended moon-like
in the leatherwood.
My mother leans against the hot back of the car,
vermillion as a bird, vermillion
as this country.
The shop dog sleeps
like a mosquito coil
at her feet, blue back
dusty as drought.
With a line from Jeet Thayil
When my grandfather hears the first curlew
break the morning, before paradise
cracks its shoreline, the ocean shucks
away the tourists, he instructs
himself quietly, The best thing for stress
is to believe in God. From the third, glittering
eye of the high-rise apartment, among
the white-wash, the steel-skinned glass, the blue
of paradise, he watches the horizon like a line
or a flame that bars him from the dead, the past.
Under the prodigal sun, the gulls, ruthless with hunger
patrol the pools left by the tide, and the brine
dries the golden surface of paradise, and his last
word is not a word but a shudder.