You see polio.
You see the boy down the street locked inside
an iron lung.
kids in callipers.
You see the abducted children from your home town —
Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirsty Gordon from the Adelaide Oval
and the Beaumont children taken from Glenelg Beach
on Australia Day ’66 who are never found
& the parents who die not knowing
& you witness the epidemic of fear that keeps yr children
& your own daughter whose boyfriend is taken off a suburban street
and killed by an infamous child abductor
and there are more: the Truro murders and it never stops.
And Debbie Anne Leach who you taught in Year 11
murdered at Taperoo Beach after school with her dog.
And the drug deaths and the suicides
and that lovely Year 9 girl who found her inner poet
And the darkness that swept the world after 9/11
But you’ve seen nothing like this.