I remember the last time I saw you.
Sitting on your pushy and staring at the waves.
Come to think of it, I can’t ever remember you walking…
You were either sitting at the pub with the boys
Or I’d catch glimpses of you riding down the Highway
Or the Palmy back streets.
I don’t think we ever really had a conversation in all of those 20 years.
But somehow I knew you knew that you and I had a connection.
I think we shared a similar wounding…
An unspoken bond is the strangest thing.
I really thought we would talk one day.
I really did.
It’s only now I reflect a little deeper that I can feel what you were holding
As you rode that bike, you head hanging forward…shoulders to your ears…
Skinny-jeaned knees splayed …
sun bleached, dirty curls swinging…
Your body made you look like you were bracing yourself for impact…
You were always a ‘Palmy Boy’
You never grew up
I found that strangely attractive and intriguing.
You know how you know things have to change but a part of you is never ready?
Remember when they Reno’d the Palmy pub making it look all swish?
They thought you’d all leave.
But they couldn’t get rid of you that easy.
You were born and bred fixtures! Still there every arvy.
I’d sit at the cafe opposite drinking juice
While you all drank beer.
We’d wave at each other
Jeez, it must’ve been another 10 years before I’d drive past on Friday arvo
And there’d be less bums on seats.
Till one day the place no longer resembled its former self.
But I still saw you around
And you always nodded your head and smiled at me.
That’s why when I walked past a couple of your mates and heard
“Did ya hear what happened to Kero?”
I took a short, sharp breath.
That was months ago now, but you kept popping into my head
I kept wondering,
I’ll bump into one of your mates sooner or later and ask them…
or, wistfully, I’d see you and you’d tell me yourself..
I moved to Burleigh,
I’ve walked the headland daily for over a year
But my son got a job at the RSL in Currumbin
And after I dropped him there the other day,
It occurred to me to walk round the Estuary.
I wasn’t going to go that far
But something prompted me to walk under the highway bridge.
I walked through the bush along the West Bank of the creek
Taking the odd pic.
I turned and walked into the bush slightly
And that’s when I saw it…
Painted in white on an old dead tree
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I hate to say it but I grieved less for people I actually knew
I don’t know what happened, but I’ll miss you
And the era we lived through
I’m sorry we never got to speak ❤