Cousin, for you

ASHLEY DUCK | CREATIVES



you are gone and past and yet passing tones

on warm breath say

never forgotten

to me, you are the tide

sweeping, heaping the strains of memory left on the shore

without warning, again, again


shall we travel back, together

Lake Eucumbene, yes it was

where seen were the fish upon the bank

poking eyes with sharp sticks, the stench of scaly skin rotting

in the blistering summer sun

deep voices rousting beyond children’s giggles

let’s stay, in memory


those that praise you say you were gold

they make promises to you

watching this for you

doing this for you

For you, for you


this is not a promise, but an ode

to a person that once was, just that

time has changed you

a victim of the death effect


again, let’s go back to the cigarette

shared on hospital steps

the laughter, the smile

what about that 50cc or the unsettling nestles

of water beds and rose-scented sheets


your time here, it was like sweet, sticky, sickly cane

attracting critters and crawlies and they would settle

within the thick cover of junior grass

festering, poisoning

what happened in that time of innocence?

where did the infection begin?


once more, it’s the last time

we’re going back to stained fingers, bottled brew

the Dog on the Tuckerbox

The Three Blind Mice

those ducks in the backyard, a faithful

Hills Hoist and home-constructed swings


how I ache to be in those summer pools, the red tubs and the old mustard boat

walking along the cracked concrete steps

the dry country roads on the way back home

I see your saddles and whips and boots and silks, swaddles

big ears, brown hair


oh, wash away these memories, tide

wash them away until you come again

for you, for you