My eyes opened to the Northern Lights and midnight sun

But then I blinked, and they were gone.

And in their place, dusty eucalypt, argent sky

Bluer than a Scandinavian eye.


My father chased work, we followed along.

Found language the tyrant, not distance or custom.

A rusty old Holden let us travel, barring failure,

And so did we settle in south-east South Australia.


My parents, if asked, I’m sure would attest,

While life wasn’t perfect, they gave it their best;

But I would reply, though it summoned tears,

Why didn’t you call me for so many years?


My brother was charged with the death of a woman,

And I took the stand for the Crown prosecution.

Subpoenaed to explicate his life of infamy,

In doing so, severed the last strand of family.


Not once did I think it would ever be me,

That committed the act that I’d need to be free.

Of their burdening guilt and sullen-eyed rage,

At the son who slipped quietly out of their cage.


They say that a wise man learns from mistakes,

Yet even a fool can see what it takes.

To make something from what there’s left of your life;

Three children, two cats and my lovely wife,


Time I stopped looking back over my shoulder.

Memories of where I began just grow older.

After thirty-odd years, bitterness gone;

I’m no longer anyone’s blue-eyed son.



Erik Kaisson, 2017

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