Rural compression :
people didn’t get married or fall in love
– “they got together.”
Couples never separated, divorced or were estranged
– “his Missus shot through.”
Incomes didn’t quadruple with a bonanza season
– “payout wasn’t bad this year.”
And when the mortgage maze had no apparent exit
the rifle became the final solution
– “things got on top of him.”
“This Friday is it? Hope I find someone like ya,”
my severance and valedictory.
On the last day he was distant – distracted
at 3 p.m. he said that was it for the day,
said he had to get moving –
“so you might as well bugger off too.”
Two hands emerge from the pickup window
one offering a handshake
the other an envelope. And then he was gone.
- Final fortnight’s wages
- Holiday pay
- Tax certificate
A smaller envelope: ‘ for good work ’
– inside $50.
I never saw him again.
It wasn’t the most satisfying job I ever had,
or the highest paying,
or the one where time went the fastest,
or where I learned the most about myself,
or when I was proudest.
But, it was the best. So long Bill.