In my home town
You could open my front door
And look down the hill to the bay.
My home had an ornate Georgian veranda
A white timber fence and wire gate.
The street I lived in was wide and clean.
Turn left, and you walked into the city, turn right, and you headed to the hills.
When I was fifteen,
I would walk the back lanes
I would deliver papers for the newsagent
I would visit Jessica, who lived in a terrace house around the corner
She was red-haired, a beautiful girl
A beauty that I slightly, but not really, recognised.
Her father would collect books,
The front veranda was full of books
A person could reach across the front fence and take one
But no one ever did.
The front hall was lined on both sides with books
And the spare room could not be entered.
The rest of the house was neat and tidy.
It was Jessica and her father
Living in thousands of books.
She was the sweetest friend
We would go swimming in the bay in the summer
We would walk the hills in winter.
One winter night, we stayed out in the dark and lit a fire
She told me about her favourite books
She told me that her father suffered from nervous breakdowns
I told her about the planets
And she told me that what I thought was Mars was actually Jupiter.
The sky was endless black and stars
We walked home in the dark
The yellow glow of the city replaced the silver dust of night.