For Fred Lang

there! the southern cross

points HMS Ariadne’s war time
Lieutenant Commander long retired

as we stand on the edge of
civilising light where paths
tangle into a bush labyrinth
near the border back of Eden

at least your daughter’s middle name
now makes sense

beneath the unfamiliar southern sky
I wondered why you chose to point this out
precisely then
under the words I hear your stream
hitting the dust and dry grass
your private sigh

that’s why you startled on my approach

I join you taking a piss
on that dark night
we shake last drops
turn in unison towards the light
following the thread back
to the weave of conversation
carried on inside

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