Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Drover’s Dream

As PM, on the hill,

while the polls all favoured Bill,

I, stressed,

rested my eyelids for a time.

Was a daydream, I assumed,

no bloody way it could be true:

the parade-of-the-departing

that sashayed by.


There waved Julie, in red shoes

(Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos),

muttering about

how Pyne had rigged the vote.

She was disgruntled, walking fast,

but she scoffed as she glared past:

“I could have beaten Bill,

but it’s too late.”


Jules was following O’Dwyer,

who maintained family was her prior,

Then Keenan, clever, said:

“I’m a dad. Raise you the same.”

They heel-toe polka-ed toward the door,

and then Chris Pyne made them four:

pink-faced and poodle-pompous with

“I’m retiring.”

I said “Pynie, are you sure?”

He said “Dear Scott, I’ve never been more.”

I entreated “You’re The Fixer!”

He went “Nope.”

Gave farewell felicitations,

in grandiose annunciation;

photo-opped the tram back home,

to public scorn.


Quite the farewell-carnevale,

this collaborative quit-soirée.

I must say,

I was glad it was a dream.

Cause Steve Ciobo in Defence,

put the lid on his biro pen,

and squealed “What fun, a cha-cha train!

I’ll join the end.”


The parade was looking chockas,

dancing halfway round the block, as

Nigel Scullion winked and mouthed

“I won’t contend.”


There they were, herded before me:

exodus of Liberal glory.

And I, blindsided:

shepherding all a-quake.

Till Bill popped his head in, gleeful.

Said, “Well, this is quite a scene full!

Don’t pinch yourself, Old ScoMo.

You’re awake.”

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.

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