Lightning Jack

Two men drinking beer

By Jan Weldon-Veitch

They walked in hot and dusty
said they had travelled far,
from an opal town, miles back down the track.
They said they had a mission,
a pledge that they had made
in honour of their father Lightning Jack.

The brothers pulled up two stools
and sat down at the bar,
then ordered, pints of icy beer.
They charged their glasses clinking
in their fathers memory,
a good old bloke who never knew no fear.

The barman’s eyes grew wider
when they said they’d bought Dad with them,
and plonked his large green urn upon the bar.
They’d made Dad a promise
to take his ashes on a pub crawl,
 it had been going splendidly thus far.

They spoke in glowing terms
about the old man’s sheer resistance,
his years of digging opal on the ridge.
How he worked like ten men running
for his children’s education,
self-sacrificing everything he did. 

His skin resembled leather
as the years stretched into decades,
relentlessly he worked his opal mines.
While his children lived the good life
with the best he had to offer,
and his firm belief
that they would turn-out fine.

They finished up their beers then
and said they must be going,
to find another pub along the track.
But they bought just one more beer
and left it on the bar there,
in remembrance of their father Lightning Jack.

Copyright Jan Weldon‐Veitch 2020.