Far from her country, her home.
Missing the smell of the gum tree.
The sound of the cattle truck and the distinct cow smell
That lingers long after it passes through town.
None of her mob here in the tropics.
Mary’s slight frame is changing,
She is belly up, too swollen to leave.
Even if Mary wanted to.
Frank is fifteen years older.
He likes his woman to know her place.
Mary’s fierce craving for love
Allow her to forget Frank’s beatings.
They make their home in the tropics, close to many Ilan people.
Frank feels at ease with his mob and his woman
Smoking and charging on.
Mary and Frank sleep in his beat up Holden
Unable to rent them a house
Mary didn’t really mind.
She could be alone and enjoy time away
From the biggest mob and
Many jarjums eager for her attention.
Sissy Anna is always watching.
She knows Frank beats Mary.
Mary is too big now and slow.
Struggling with the heat.
Not wanting to sleep in the Holden.
Unable to hide her lonely face and tired eyes.
Sissy Anna reaches out.
Her invite for Mary and bub to live with her
Leaves Mary so grateful.
The first months of Mary’s new bub are a happy time.
Frank finds joy in this new baby.
Sissy Anna is happy too for her friend.
But Frank’s demons erupt again.
Soon Mary fiercely craves
The smell of the gum tree and
Longs to hear the sound of
The cattle truck drive through town.
Image: ‘Imperial ashtray’ / flickr