Primary Colours

Gold crayons for Christ's hair,
red for the fires of Hell—so Father O'Malley told us.
He was as tall as the policeman
who rode a black motorbike
and manned the crosswalk on Canning Highway,
where at least one kid every few years was hit.
The boy Walker survived, and then only came to sports days,
where he crouched under the judges' table, dribbling.
The rest of us ran in the hundred yard sprint,
for ribbons of red, blue, gold.
Gold, like the wild oat seeds dried sharp into perfect darts,
that stuck so well to the grey of school jumpers.
And for those waiting in line at the boys and girls taps,
the water drummed into concrete troughs—a tired silver,
like the two shilling piece ready every Friday,
for The Man From the Wales, who pressed a black stamp
firmly between the lines,
in that week's Book of Good Habits.



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