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
when 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.
1. final fortnight’s wages
2. holiday pay
3. tax certificate
a smaller envelope: ‘ for good work ’
I never saw him again.