English poetry

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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.


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Poem Late Summer Fires - Les Murray