Wendy Dunn

The Picnic

When we were kids - (every month or so)
Family and friends would pack the cars and go
Off to Pt Germein Gorge again
(Everyone hoping it wouldn’t rain)

Mums would sit in their deck chairs
Dads sat down on logs
While we kids went off exploring
Hunting for tadpoles and frogs

The Dads might have a beer or two
While they got a nice fire alight
Mums had their friends and a thermos of tea
And all in the world was right

It was pure fun and adventure
Being let free to run and climb
Just curious little children
Having a great old time

Lifting up the creek rocks
Just to see what lived below
And pulling bark off the trees in awe
To see where tiny bugs grow

We’d have sword fights with the Yackas
And go Yabbying with string
We’d balance on the creek stones
Trying hard not to fall in

But wet clothes were quite common
As were green stained dacks
From sliding down the grassy hills
On our bums or on our backs.

Of course, we would have our theories
On the animal poops we’d find
Were they from a kangaroo?
Or a monster of some kind.

And then we would hear Dads whistle
Bellowing out full force
Time to come back to the “camp” kids
For fried fritz, snags and sauce.

There would be home grown Navel oranges
Their juice running down our chins
While we started to pack all the gear away
Then….. First back to the car wins.

And it was always a happy trip home
Singing and playing “I Spy”
Balancing our treasured tadpoles
Watching the trees go by.

And soon the hum of the motor
Would lull us kids to sleep.
Happy little Vegemites
With memories to keep. 

The Unusual Hat

Many have said I am an “unusual” hat
I’m one of a kind - it’s true
And I was made in Gay Paree in 1952

Well, yes… I’m in St Vinnies now (in the Bargain Bin they say)
But I started life in a chic boutique
On the exclusive Champs Elysée’s
Where rich and famous ladies travelled far to see
The very latest creations from my “Madame Lilly”

Made with the finest satin
Trimmed with frivolous flair
Adorned with tulle and sequins
Only the most bold would wear

My box was also special and proudly put on show
Striped in Candy pink and white
Tied with a black velvet bow

And in my six or so decades, in seven different nations
Many ladies have possessed me and
I’ve had many alterations
My pheasant feathers long gone… my sequins taken too
My tulle has many moth holes, and my flowers are all askew

So here I am in the Bargain Bin, awaiting my next fate
When a pretty little blonde girl comes- (her mother calls her Kate)
And Kate runs straight toward ME…. What do you think of that?
And she asks in her very nicest voice … “Mummy pleeeease can I have this hat?”

So I belong to Kate now … 
and my next life has begun
Kate loves playing dress ups
And we are having so much fun

Time Travel

I fall slowly into a warm cottonwool vortex
Nothing to fear – I’ve been here before
Now softly, gently spiral toward
My chosen time and place once more

Floating into shadow I descend
And now 1945 is the year
Click clack on the railway track
The Adelaide Station draws near

Whistles blow, brakes squeal
Hustle bustle - thumping heart
I’m anxious and excited
I can’t wait to disembark

The steam clears and slowly
The platform comes to view
and there he is in his Army slouch hat
Bouquet of flowers too

I left England forever
To start this brand-new life
With my handsome Aussie soldier
So proud to be his wife

I run into his open arms
And gaze upon his face
And the whole world seems to disappear
When I’m in his warm embrace.

And then a light is tugging at me
“Morning Joan … rise and shine”
And “pop” – I’m back in the nursing home
Travelled forward now in time.

And as I slowly rise up
From my secret “time travel” flight
I know I can return again
And it will be alright

Because tonight is yet another night
And strange as it might seem
I’ll look forward to “lights out” once more ….
“To sleep perchance to dream”

© Wendy Dunn June 2022