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by Eric Charles Rolls, © 1989.

The Bulletin (Literary Supplement), Vol. 106, No. 5448, 1984. p.204.
The Independent Monthly, July 1989. Surry Hills: I M Publishing. p. 34
Selected poems, 1990, North Ryde: Angus and Robertson. p.82.


Yellow Alice, King's daughter,
knew the milky Cooper water,
Swept the floors at Nappermerry,
Cook's offsider, made the beds.

Asked her mother who was her father.
Mother didn't know much either:

'Come from someplace, somewhere, some time.'
'Useless bugger, had to feed him.'
'Both his cranky mates were dead.'
'Sad-faced bugger, couldn't sleep.'
'Sat beside the fire and shivered.'
'Once or twice I warmed him up.'

Yellow Alice, lonely Alice, sometimes warmed the Chinese cook.

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© 2020, Dave Phoenix