Margaret Owen Ruckert

You gave us a reason to love you
     we were family
     Grannie lived over the line

We would write our address
     learn it by heart

We believed you
     took you seriously
     but then we grew 

Found your wood had walked 
     and your river, hidden
     a long way from town

Your timber turpentine 
     long wagonned to Sydney
     floating her wharves 

The back of our land
     grew fertile memories 
     of a tall, ancient forest

An immense reach of trees
     over so many summers
     shaded our hens

You were once a prized suburb
     a local golf course
     Blue Mountains’ views

We learnt of your past
     American post-war camps
     the stigma of ‘different’ 

You could never escape 
     the ‘Herne Bay’ of notoriety
     not even with a name change

I know your streets 
     you walked me to school
     placed me in the world

I fly down your stairs
     another worker
     trained for the city

No doubt I’ll return 

Margaret Owen Ruckert is a prize-winning poet and widely published. She is a former TAFE Science lecturer, whose love of language helped her multi-skill into ESL teaching. Other positions have included church organist and tax clerk. Two books, You Deserve Dessert and musefood (an IP Book of the Year,) explore café and street culture. She has written six books of tanka; many of the individual tanka have been published online. Sky on Sea, her latest, matches poems to photographs of Sydney waterways. Margaret presents workshops as Facilitator of Hurstville’s Discovery Writers and convenes a Café Poetry group.



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