My father and I
have a war of attrition.
I drive two hours to his house in winter
and throw out jars and packets
several years past their use by date.
He later reclaims these from the wheelie bin,
pushes them back in time, deep into his cupboard
in the correct hand-labelled boxes.
He drives three hours to retaliate in summer,
with an esky filled with anonymous chicken
sub-divided into plastic jars stripped of use-by labels,
from a roasted Woolworths carcass stripped of meat
that he bought recently.
I distract him up the pub
with chips, and he merrily pats the cats
when we come home,
Roger Patulny lives in Sydney and is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wollongong, where he has a research focus on social interaction, personal and urban issues. He runs two Sydney writing groups, and writes contemporary social, historical, and futurist-inspired poetry and prose fiction. He has been published in the Sydney- and Melbourne-based The Suburban Review, Cordite, the UK magazine Dwell Time on COVID-themed poems, and in other print and online publications, links to which, along with those to his writing groups, can be found here.
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