The Panama Hat
A man is waiting on the river-path:
an elderly man in shirtsleeves
and white cotton trousers –
with a cigarette that he smokes
down to the quick. He paces slowly
between the tumbledown brink
of the riverbank and a squat log
bested by a white panama hat.
He dabs his brow with the broad,
flat back of his hand. Uphill, along
a slope of summer olives, his wife
is picking flowers. Yellow flowers
and blue flowers. And further on
along the path, their grandchildren
are already stripping down to swim.
While I was in Adelaide I went along to the Friendly Street Reading and heard some fine poets. And one of them was Thom Sullivan. He’s a local, born there in 1982, and he studied Arts and Law there at the University of Adelaide and he works there in the public sector. I found this poem in the Friendly Street New Poets 14.