Sailing to Australia

I fell in love once.  I was twenty-one...
on shore leave from our boat in Sydney Harbour...
woman’s  face reflected in a window...
beautiful.  One glimpse and she was gone...

Odd thing to tell a girl just turned thirteen,
but I knew he needed dreams and some escape
from nappies, our small house,
the boring civvies’ job.

He drank barley wine, and talked about retiring:
I’ll read Shakespeare when I’m sixty,
go exploring; we’ll strike out  across the moors! 
He died at fifty-two.

I see him striding out across the dales,
The Complete Works, quite well-thumbed, under one arm.
He’s off to Robin Hood’s Bay where he was born,
to board a boat that’s bound for New South Wales.

We weren’t alike – you’d never take me for his daughter.
No time for dreaming – I’m a doer, me.
I’ll leave this room, this glass of wine and these stale thoughts;
I’ll strike out somewhere soon. You wait and see.

Annie Fisher

If you have any comments on this poem, Annie Fisher would be pleased to hear from you.