LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 3 no 4 Spring 1995. ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Lead in Literature

My Father's First Christmas

by Rae Desmond Jones, born in Broken Hill in 1941.

My father's first Christmas
was in the year the Wright brothers
rose in their trembling kite
to burn gasoline scars across the sky
at Kittyhawk

when he was four the Titanic
plunged into the cold sea as the radio
bleeped out save our souls
but God didn't put on his headset

God slept deep while my father
played cricket in a dusty backyard
& the world dug into the dirt
as the lamps died over Europe & Empires
burned away like verey lights

when men came back without legs
my father waved a paper flag
& watched the way men hide fear
behind noble words & decided that
there were lies that he could not speak

when the gut dropped out of Wall street
my father walked to Adelaide with a sandwich
& sat in a park & watched strangers
in old army coats play silent chess
& ignore the cold

when the Japanese tapped at the door
my father stayed down in the mines where
he could not hear the screams above the indigestion
of the rumbling earth turning in a deep
discontented slumber

when men scrabbled at rocks
on the lovely white moon my father saw
the blue globe turn slowly
with nothing to hold It

by the time he knocked away the gas mask
& threw the final thrusts of his failing heart
against the metal of his deathbed
great jets were clotting the unclouded sky
& the diluted blue of my father's eyes denied
the arrogant detachment of his thought

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Last Updated 19 November 2012
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