Published in Overland Issue 224 Spring 2016 Uncategorized Stranger, Grandfather Zoe Barnard Never knew you properly in the fifteen years our lives overlapped. This great expanse of country always lay between us. Don’t even know what I don’t know about you. About the life of a military man who seemed so gentle and quiet that I couldn’t picture him in uniform. And I don’t want to ask because it’s been years but tears are still fresh in everyone’s eyes and it seems a bit late now. One thing I do know besides your need for thick glasses and your indifference toward disappearing hair, was your love of the garden below your house. Of the cherries you grew and picked and presented to me in a mug one morning during my visit, six months before the cancer came. I’ve never liked cherries. And I couldn’t swallow them even for you. I left them there in the fridge, left you with them and flew back home. Zoe Barnard Zoë Barnard is a freelance editor and writer, who lives and works in Perth. More by Zoe Barnard Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 27 January 2023 Cartoons In attacking us, they bring us together Sam Wallman 'What these bosses don't understand is that in attacking us, they bring us together.' (Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Svitzer Rally November 2022) First published in Overland Issue 228 24 January 202325 January 2023 Aotearoa / New Zealand The end of the politics of care Giovanni Tiso The daily spectacle of televised briefings was not unique to New Zealand, and it may simply be the case that Ardern thrived when given the opportunity to speak to the public directly—in other words, that she was better than others at it. Alternatively, we could say that her rhetoric found in the pandemic the ground on which to turn into concrete action. Either way, the benefits we derived in terms of lives saved from the remarkable extension of that social license are literally incalculable.