Posted in Antarctica

Beneficiary

The rumours were swirling
heard by many ears
the source of more than one
one drink too many joke.
Unlike most it was true
a woman would be wintering over.

Her selection a triumph for ordinary women
not vivacious or pretty
homely
hard-working
next size up from medium
looking exactly what she was – small town New Zealand.

The local paper reported she felt lucky
she told the interviewer
the motor camp where she cleaned
had found winter no longer viable
was about to become summer only
work in her hometown hard to find in the hardest season
perfect timing she said.

An inspired choice she worked hard and fitted in well
romance was found which folded many faces with delight
marriage and emigration followed
a fairy story of sorts.
Her husband already one flight up the corporate stairwell.

A green card gave access to greenbacks and greener fields
we worked on the same programme for different employers
ours was an aberration
an historic émigré cameo that grew into bit part
now a supporting role
nationalisation had noticed and wanted it back.
It was a young person’s occupation and after seven years
my tolerance had grown impatient.

Still there was some grief to see it ending.
In the last week of my last time on the great southern continent
we spoke our farewells.
I told her of my sadness on behalf of others
for the loss of opportunity to earn good money
finance dreams
and visit a part of the world almost inaccessible.
Without a flicker of emotion she told me
there was a lot of unemployment in the United States.

For the back story click Backstage

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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