The anticipation is deafening,
My limbs, they can’t stay still,
Internal butterflies are on attack,
A battle between ill, and thrill.
Have my memories served me well
Or were they delusions beyond their due?
Will my community remember me?
Or will they stare blankly and say, “Who?”
What has changed? Who has changed?
In my sleepy coastal home.
Have I changed? Have my dreams changed?
From Africa, where I roamed.
The airport’s now paid parking,
Some cafes moved or closed,
Brick havens sprouted like mushrooms,
Replacing beach shacks bulldozed.
The streets are eerily similar
With the barks of liberated mutts.
The ‘Eish’ and ‘Hau’ of Africa
Replaced with the Aussie, ‘Yeah, no, but’
Yet it’s not long before the salty air
Dances harmoniously on my tongue,
The sweet stench of seaweed
Fills my landlocked African lung.
The water is as brilliant blue
As the sky from which it echoes.
Sand and salt clutch at my skin,
Sticking resolutely like geckoes.
The bike from the shed, my trusty steed
Breathes rapidly back to life.
The cycling is easy, flat and fast,
The delight, my mirth, is rife
My feet fall quickly back into beat
With the rock and roll tunes of old,
But joined now by ballroom beats
Danced in sandals, rubber-soled.
The days are interesting & varied,
Pilates or an afternoon kite,
Sheep shearing in the morning,
Reciting poetry at night.
Yet what of the people, my long-lost friends?
What effect of time abroad?
Well, we settled back into tea and chats
Like the land that time ignored.
Of all the sights I’ve seen these years,
Of all the places I’ve roamed,
My memories have stood me well,
Geraldton, my sleepy coastal home.