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
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.