FOR CAITLIN

I

reprising the roadtrip
from half a lifetime ago
a father and his daughter

in the passenger window
a woman I can’t identify
my own reflection
some stranger

heading for the snow
we breast the ridge
between Cooma and Jindabyne
get our first glimpse
of white on the ridgeline

ribbon gum dieback
the Monaro barren
granite boulders punctuate
the bare paddocks
like a giant game of marbles

crowtorn roo and
exmarked wombats
reclining like sunbathers
as we rush by roadkill

II

my playlist of
Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan
fails to entrance
so much for gravel voiced old men

I summarily dismiss your offer
of your own playlist
and the opportunity
to hand over the driving
remembering my failure
to teach you to drive

as happy in our long silences
as we are
in the challenge of our conversation

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