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This poem is taken from PN Review 231, Volume 43 Number 1, September - October 2016.

Seven Poems Les Murray
Exile

Balz dead, and war over
emigration is the plan
though Berta abhors it.

Hearing of it, her true father
summons her man –
What profession are you in, sir?

Schweizer Brauch. Swiss custom,
and you? Astrology –
I shun this murder-continent.


She will never forgive me
but take this money. It may help.
Why Australia? I’ve long

corresponded with Bondi
Surf Lifesaving club –

They arrive on Melbourne Cup day

and are kept on board.
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