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the yellow line


Hello Sunday Polaroid of Roma Street Station

My feet were a-teeterin at the line, tappin on the wrong side, just darin, darin the vested guy at the end of the platform to come down and holler. Hoy, he’d say. You toe-prattlin crook, why not have some sense? I’d look at him and nod. Oh yeah, I’d say. I’d stare him down and extend my arms out in front of me, into that perilous pit of space, wave them about jocularly, a little precariously. Hoy, he’d call again. Hoyhoyhoy. Back up, you danger-caperin delinquent.  My ankles would be writhin, slippery joints all over the place. I’d push a hip forward, and then the other one, anticipate a jive, a jig, a two-step boogie. He’d be after me then, me and my enterprisin limbs. But the train would whoosh on up and I’d be three steps ahead already, already over the yellow line, crossed into the field of daisies. I would bang on the button, summon the doors to open and make a flyin jump into the carriage. I’d be on my way to Darra and not no one would stop me.

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brekky for the new year


A Hello Sunday Polaroid of Breakfast at Home Ground on BrunswickWe give thanks to the seeds and nuts and fruits of the world: the ones that have danced and tripped by us, amused us and given us stories in the past, and the ones that have made it into the bowls of muesli before us. We give thanks to the coffee beans for revealing their secret in the fairness of trade and to the porcelain mugs for being wide enough to satisfy our addiction. We give thanks to the cows for providing the milk, so whole and creamy in a wee glass bottle, cute enough to fit in the palms of our hands. And we make a wish for the New Year: to be as delicious as our breakfast, filled with just as much friendship, and graced with patches of sunlight so bright they almost hurt.

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splashing about


Hello Sunday Polaroid of Backyard Swimming

The tradition goes back some time to when we were just boys. Hairless chests, arms the size of zucchinis. You couldn’t stop us.  The sun would be thumping down and we were hyped on Christmas and cordial. We were in as soon as the back door was unlatched. WhaddidItellya? our mothers would shriek. Don’t you wear those shorts in there. Go’n get changed. Go’n! We’d spend the whole day wrestling, dunking, challenging each other to land the biggest flop. Our tummies would smart, sting red, but we would not give up. By the end of the day we looked like tomatoes all over, sunburnt and sore.  Now, the only difference is our parents don’t watch from the patio and instead of liquid sugar we down beer. We wait half an hour after our feast of leftovers and step outside, back into our eleven-year-old selves.  Last one in’s a girl! Last one in’s for a wedgie! We run to the side and jump.  It is on.

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the christmas angel


Hello Sunday Polaroid of Hot Stone Massage at Black Dove Body BarThe angel enters the cave, his arms stretched in front of him, palms towards the ceiling. In each hand sits a smooth stone, black and polished, glinting softly in the candlelight.  He moves towards the body in the centre of the space. He places the two stones on the bare body, at the centre of the spine. Close your eyes, he says. Just relax.
It dates back to ancient times, the use of heated flat stones to massage the body. And of course they had their worries then, ones that would tighten the muscles and rouse the nerves. But this woman she needs this more than the pharaohs or the emperors, the charging men on horses and gnarled-handed slaves.  She has endured twelve hours of crowds and furious shopping. Her toes are trampled. Her back is crooked. Earlier she was weeping, although now she is just laying stiffly, her head turned to the side with one cheek pressed into the table.
The angel pushes his hands into her warm skin, rolls the heel of his palms into her flesh and presses hard. At last she has a pulse! Her blood begins to flow freely, surges in around her nerves, nurturing, quelling them. Finally, it is Christmas.

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summer loving


Hello Sunday Polaroid of the Beach

I had this dream that I would, could, write poetry. That I would sit on the sand and all of the moments I want so long to relive but can’t, all of the sighs, the questions, the uncertain answers, all of it would just be there, one hundred million grains, immeasurable, and all I would I have to do is scoop it up, let it all slip through my fingers.
I want to kiss you, he had said. I nodded, but I was mute. He kissed me, and the straw-like grass tickled my bare back. I don’t remember his lips, even the shape of his face, the hair, just the feeling of sun on my head, the burn on my part.
I would bury myself in it. All of it, the sand, would rub against me, into me, make my skin tingle. It would be cool and heavy on my chest, even in the sun.
I didn’t kiss him back, but he kissed me for a while and then I suppose he left. I remember squealing and laughter, children obviously, as I nestled into the grass, planted my heels into the sand. I had sunglasses on but I closed my eyes and listened to the seagulls cry.
I would walk into the water, patches of dry sand stuck to my legs like scabs. Then I would emerge out of it, exfoliated, glowing. A rhyming couplet would follow.

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a crafty affair


Hello Sunday Polaroid of CraftingAs a child I would grab a handful of shiny things and feathery things and things I had found in the garden, stick them haphazardly to the card, sprinkle it over with glitter and call it pretty. Now, I am more cautious. I do not know where to begin. Which colours to coordinate? Which design to embrace? I worry about style, sophistication, appearing cheap. You made us a card? Oh how delightful. How clever. I fold the rectangle in half and prop it up on the table, so that it houses the teeny shapes I have spent the last hour cutting. Star. Hearts. Circles and squares of various colours. A tiny boat, though there is only one of these because I gave up after the first, decided it was too intricate. I enjoy looking at the scattered cut-outs, beaming at me, tempting me to take them all and throw them into the air. Suddenly, I am inspired. I do it. I throw them into the fan. They whir and disperse, and I catch a few on the card, stick them where they land.
Now, I call it virtuoso.

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the cricket season


Hello Sunday Polaroid of Backyward Cricket

Ashes to ashes, said the shaman. Dust to dust! He raised his dented staff high above his head, placed one end on the ground beside his feet and beckoned, with a nod of the head and a raise of his overgrown eyebrows, for the almighty force to be released towards him. Come hither! he cried, as the shaking minion, ten, maybe fifteen metres away, wound her tiny arm around and around, breathed in deeply, and prepared to perform the very best, the most powerful dispatch she could muster. Out of her hand and into the air flew a spinning ball of red. The shaman stepped forward, and with one swoop of his staff and a burst of shimmering powder, shot the tumbling force out of the field, to someplace else in the universe. It made a loud smack. The many minions cheered. The new season had begun.
This is all true, of course, and it happens every year, except he isn’t really a shaman, just my dad being fanatical and dramatic, making us kids groan and wish that all the other kids in the street aren’t around to see the show, and it isn’t really a magical stick, just your average cricket bat, half-covered in dust because it’s been sitting in the garden shed all winter.

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