Best little pub in Australia

The flies lazy on the bottle's rim

and the unsuspecting finger

on the walls and taps

and looking at reflections

in the dust-streaked mirror.


The man drinks Victoria Bitter in the bright green can

grass is green

and water does flow

and once there was a wife

in Wagga.


His mates laugh without him

in their four day stubble

and their stubbies with their rollies

and their dirt caked skin.


It's thirty-nine degrees inside.


The English girl with the white down

down the nape of her soft white neck

and soft to the small of her downy back

holds the baby roo.


So lovely, yes

just passing through.


The bartender takes a shot of whiskey

straight from Tennessee,

wonders why in Daly Waters.


The black man wanders as he drinks

stumbling through his daytime dream,

he wandered even in the womb, and no

he never stands still.


Another bus rushes in;

the girl shows off her roo.


The bartender quick pops tops of beer

for backpacking Yanks and Germans

while pies and pasties left and right

and aging South Africans and Dutch.


He takes orders from Brits and Japanese

for fish and bloody chips.


They all eye the Aborigine

speak in other languages

leave as quickly as they came.

Get the latest essay, memoir, reportage, fiction, poetry and more.

Subscribe to Griffith Review or purchase single editions here.

Griffith Review