Small Town Memorials

Geoff Page


Small Town Memorials

Geoff Page


Small Town Memorials

No matter how small
Every town has one;
Maybe just the obelisk,
A few names inlaid;
More often full-scale granite,
Marble digger (arms reversed),
Long descending lists of dead.
Sometimes not even a town,
A thickening of houses
Or a few unlikely trees
Glimpsed on a back-road
Will have one.

1919,1920:
All over the country;
Maybe a band, slow march;
Mayors, shire councils;
Relatives for whom
Print was already
Only print; mates,
Come back, moving
Into unexpected days;
A ring of Fords and sulkies;
The toned-down bit
Of Billy Hughes from an
Ex-recruiting sergeant.
Unveiled;
Then seen each day —
Noticed once a year;
And then not always,
Everywhere.

The next bequeathed us
Parks and pools
But something in that first
Demanded stone.


from Smalltown Memorials, (UQP, 1975/Picaro Press, 2008), © Geoff Page 1975, used by permission of the author. The recording is taken from Coffee with Miles (River Road Press, 2009) © Geoff Page/River Road Press, 2009

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