From Doomadgee

Poem by Malpa Medical Advisor, Dr Howard Goldenberg

 

A busy day this

Australia Day -

Hordes in the wards

In Doomadgee

 

We plaster and we suture

Like there is no future:

Future no feature of Australia Day,

Not here, no way, in Doomadgee

 

The end of Australia Day -

Quietness falls

In hospital halls

Of Doomadgee

 

But short the respite -

Quick! Elder sick!

Dying on Australia night?

Dying here – in Doomadgee?

 

Quiet, quiet, his voice, his breath -

Small his smile at the threshold of death -

Good night Australia:

System failure in Doomadgee

 

Beside him, quiet woman – or girl -

His guard and ward in this world

Trembles, facing an Australian day

Without him in Doomadgee.

 

He slips away from his teeming kin

Who hold their tears and keening in;

A dreadful peace on Australia Day

And quiet, this night in Doomadgee.