my father

my father dealt in dicta
I’m a Labor man he’d say
they fed a lot of canaries white bread
and they all died he’d announce
sausage wrapper he interjected
when the orator quoted The Herald

since he was a sheep man
who could tell the value of wool
by testing a fleece with his hand
I took him to a film about droving
but at the opening scene he snorted
crossbreds  and fell asleep

terse he was but he had a dream
I could see it in his eyes
as he narrowed them to scan
what lay beyond the horizon
a land where roses grew
and eucalypts prayed to lost gods

as old men are wont to do
he went to bed to die
he stayed there for a while
dreaming of the plains
he’s gone now past the horizon
and is camped where the roses grow