Michael Mintrom lives in Melbourne. He has recently published poetry in various literary journals including Cordite, The Drabble, Ekphrastic Review, Meniscus, Quadrant, Rabbit Poetry, and takahē. He is a past winner of the University of Canterbury's MacMillan Brown Prize for Writers.
Abandoned, the capitol sprawls over
summer lawns. Children play in trees. Parents
share their stories, making a mosaic.
I remember his sleek black car, his suit,
the uniform. For the air display, we
squeezed onto trains, thronged past the library,
pushed up the steps. A grotesque veteran
sold opera glasses. Youth group members –
white-shirted, red-sashed – paraded.
Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat went their drums.
I leaned to touch them; to join the razzmatazz.
Politics is a lethal game. Inside now,
death smells taint the rotunda, ghosts replay
futile debates. And the dashing puppet's gone.