A little city on the hem off the world
beneath the Southern Cross
everything was looked up to.
Insular and complacent. Change – drying paint.
New families stayed three or five years
fathers arriving as senior clerks
leaving to become assistants, deputies, almosts.
the next rung more important than the present.
The men were brylcreemed and wore hats
women perms and never trousers.
Everybody was titled : Mr. Mrs. Miss. Dr.
to be used without fail.
Except two unmarried friends of my mother.
Rhonda and Margaret.
“Rhonda” and “Margaret” – just that – always
21-year-old single men were compulsorily Mr
19 year old wives “Mrs” – to teenagers.