“He was a bachelor, you see.
He was a soldier-settler
Out in the mallee scrub…
And he died…
Father went through his things
But he couldn’t throw these out…”
She “thumbed” out the pockets of her breeks.
“They have his army number on them, see !
He was a lovely old man , my Uncle Bill.”
But I have seen a few “Uncle Bills”,
Spurned or turned from a woman’s embrace.
Uncertain and clumsy in affection
Toward sisters or brothers children…
“The breeks were army issue,
Part of the “deal” for soldier-settlers…
God only knows how he struggled out there.”
A soldier-settler alone in the mallee.
“God only knows.”