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April 01st 2008 print

Graeme Hetherington

Mona Lisa at Renison Bell

“Mona by name and nature” was
My father’s pet pun when his wife,
My mother from New Zealand downed
The rougher one-horse, West Coast of
Tasmania town, his birthplace, with

“Convict dump”, “Not fit for pigs”.
Or else, he’d shorten it to “Mo”,
Make jokes about his shaven off
And pointed references to
The Roy Rene, “Mo McCackie” show

She loathed as coarse and coldly left
The room when by a freak of calm
It crossed from Melbourne static-free.
And “Moses”, too, was her until
She gamely rounded on him with

“Would you prefer a man?” Disturbed,
I’d shout it at her, adding “found
Beneath Franz Joseph Glacier”
Instead of in my Sunday school’s
Bulrushes, hiding from her in

The outside pantry where she’d stored
The empty biscuit tin, whose side
With famed, mysterious smile was turned
Towards the wall lest it betray
Her secret idea of herself.

Graeme Hetherington