La-pa – Brenda Saunders

I remember taking the tram to ‘the Loop’
on those fishing days with Dad. Crowds
on their way to see the ‘Snake Men’ scaring
all the kids, uncles selling boomerangs.
Shy moments with aunties living in shacks
along the bay. Cousins. Big boys too busy
for the small girl under their feet
waiting for the main event at the jetty.
I watched them dive for silver, gliding
through seaweed, sleek bodies shadowy
in the underwater sun. They showed no fear
of barnacles as they surfaced under the steps
Shaking the water from their dark curls
the bounty caught between white teeth.

 

Lapa: La Perouse, Botany Bay. Former Aboriginal Reserve
The Loop: circular tram terminus