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Late Summer Fires

 The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.
In the white of a drought this happens.
The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle, inverted, stubby.
Tree stumps are kilns.
Walloped, wiped, hand-pumped, even this day rolls over, slowly.
At dusk, a family drives sheep out through the yellow of the Aboriginal flag.

by Les Murray
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