Poem by Malpa Medical Advisor, Dr Howard Goldenberg
A busy day this
Australia Day -
Hordes in the wards
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 -
In hospital halls
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.