Stumpy and the Decision Tree     by Thorold May
                     page thirteen
In the wispy hours of a newborn day
When even the trailer rigs slept,
When a possum's claw on the edge of the roof
Scratched in the ear of his dreams,
Stumpy slouched by a drifting screen, a man possessed but dumb,
Until with a blast of electric horns, some mud-spattered bomb
Crunched to a halt in the drive.

A wreck of a man, half dazed with the dawn,
Half drunk with the scenes of the night,
Rattled the door, banged on the windows and croaked,
Hey mate! Give a bloke a light! You got a fag?
Got some coffee, eh? Time to rise and shine!
He wavered a little on that last note,
His synapses pinged by ghosts, but rallied
And pressed his nose to the glass, like a hopeful child caught out.

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"Stumpy and the Decision Tree" copyrighted to Thorold May 2000; all rights reserved