The manuscript of my soon-to-be-published book ready for more little pencil marks. The second round of editing. I feel frustrated and nervous while editing. Well, here’s hoping! Last time around, all the paragraph breaks had disappeared. Rather essential to poetry, don’t you think?
It is memoir/biography of my husband Ervin, but in first person. He has had a pretty amazing life.
The White Coat
When the soldiers came to the hospital
I had just carried an injured man in.
The doctor put a white coat on me.
‘See to this equipment, Doctor,’ he said.
So I was pretending to adjust
a hanging bag of blood
with its little knobs and tubes
when the soldiers passed me by
without seeing my freedom fighter’s boots.
from during the 1956 hungarian uprising.
Where the horse manure,
rank and steaming, melted the snow
doves would come on their thin feet
to peck at the undigested grain.
I understand how they came
to be a symbol of peace
with their domestic colours
and soft voices
how they love
with such devotion
how watching them
can heal a war-torn heart.
I threw fresh seed or crumbled bread
and they came pecking
and crooning their one soft syllable
the sort of sound one makes for a lover
or whispers into a baby’s ear.
From when he was working as a jockey in Austria after the refugee camp.
When I was logging
there was a bloke there called Bill.
He used to grab me by the hair
and pull me round saying,
‘Look! I got myself a wog here.’
I was fair game he reckoned
because I’m short. I was under
this bloody oaf’s hand saying,
‘Let me go, you prick, it hurts.’
And he was saying, ‘Oh, listen
to the wog whine, ‘It hurts, it hurts.’
But he hadn’t got the measure of me,
and next thing he was on the ground
with a broken wrist, crying like a baby.
I wasn’t brought up on the streets
for nothing, but I thought, ‘I’m dead.’
All his friends were standing around
and they were bigger than him.
So I was looking around like a cornered dog,
but not one of them moved.
He deserved it, they reckoned.
Fair go, they reckoned.
From when he was logging in Australia
So, it’s off to work I go.