Kakadu – Saxby Pridmore

In Kakadu

we saw more crocodiles

than aborigines.

The people of the land

had left

(happily, so we were told)

their sacred sites and paintings

to be fenced and packaged

by whites

without dreaming.

One day two came up

as black as your hat

drunk, slurred

coughing, scarred and stinking.

We drove to get away

foot to the floor.

A proud, high-stepping

ancient lizard

unscathed by sun

or time or snake came out.

I slammed on the brakes

too late.

It wasn’t our fault.


Originally published in Fremantle Arts Review, 1991