• Time to read less than 1 minute

My grandfather kept his 22

in the boot of his classic green Ford.

She had fins and fat tyres and those


ornamental seatbelts. I clung

to the doors, full of fearful joy. 

Behind the whitewashed screen door


of my grandfather’s house, murder in the

dark.  All over red rover, arm your

selves for cowboys and Indians, these


are the games that children play.

Gardens are simple and their wars

require no skins, no maps or mirrors.  


Battlelines were drawn against

the slugs who slid amongst the

sweet peas and the snails who loved all


the plump pumpkins in a row. 

Skirmishes with sparrows and flags

waving, as the scarecrow unfurled his


banners.  My grandfather’s fleshy

feathered chickens roosted in

the straw, behind their heart shaped wire.


And always the canaries sang;

it's true, my grandfather said,

that the male has the sweeter song.


I think that the garden and

that 22 must have been a comfort;

they were silent, thoughtless and dumb. 


My grandfather would pull that old

green Ford into the carpeted

garage, through the red bottlebrush flowers.

Share this and help promote amazing Aussie writing.

About the author:

Rhiannon Burner

Author placeholder image.
Rhiannon Burner has a first-class honours degree in Gender Studies from University of Adelaide, is a former political staffer, and now works in the public service. Her excessive consumption of pop culture seriously gets in the way of the of the volume of poetry she has been writing for far too long.

Popular on Brain drip

The Dinner Party

Profile picture for user email_registration_D8PtAyJF59
Emma Sanderson-Ellis, her partner Jarrod Ellis, their “sensitive” baby of seven months, Moss, along with Kevin Irving and his partner Emma Beekman (the Other Emma) were coming over to Stella Martin’s in South Yarra on Saturday, 29 May for a modest two course dinner party, but 60 minutes before the big event, Stella, crushingly hungover and hampered by an injured left foot, recognised that because she still had so much to do and so little time to do it in, for several hours, until her guests filed out of her flat, there would be absolutely no opportunity to pause...