Cricket Poetry Prize – ‘Broadcast Days’

This poem, titled ‘Broadcast Days’, was selected as a finalist in the 2011 Australian Cricket Poetry Prize. It didn’t win, but was ‘highly commended’.

Broadcast days

By Adam Gibson

across the rail yards, 
smoke rising in the afternoon,
you heard the sound of whistles and sirens and
the Eveleigh railmen screeching metal on metal,
and yet, still; the transistor sound of something distant,
ghost voices from the Overland Telegraph Line,
a lime green capsule transported from that distant ground,
hushing all into reverence, carrying 
like a thread of cotton on the westerly.

afternoon barefoot walks from Botany Road,
hearing the huddled cheers from the 
blood-gutter pubs of Chippendale,
the secret rituals of the radio broadcast of the match
in a time when we believed in soup and buttons,
in a time when we thought that everything was possible;

but, later, your father livid about the bowling, 
the grey-eyed uncles not speaking about that catch,
mum making herself scarce, invisible,
and it dawning on you that sometimes 
it's better not to know, 
sometimes it's better
not to hear a thing.

 

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