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When Night-Time Came to Melbourne in the Middle of the Day

Poetry By: Philip Roberts
Literary fiction

A true story about when it suddenly became as black as night in Melbourne one afternoon.

Submitted:Dec 27, 2010    Reads: 27    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

I was working in Swanston Street in 1985
When night-time came to Melbourne in the middle of the day,
At first all the wags were out in force
With humorous things to say:
"Who's been praying to the wrong God?"
Asked Pledgie when night came at 2 PM;
But as the hours passed the humour died
Till it was like a mausoleum.
Yes night-time came to Melbourne
That day, in the early afternoon,
By 6 PM the laughter had died out
And came the prophets of doom.
Not one of us dared leave the building
Until it was well after five,
Then Anne-Marie braved the dark
Saying, "I must get home tonight."
But that was the last we saw of her
For the remainder of that week,
The rest of us hid inside the building
Really thinking our future was bleak.
"It's the Apocalypse for sure," said Billy
And I think he did believe it,
Though in the end he led the charge
Out of the building when it reached six.
But I stayed till eight o'clock or so
Getting home just in time for the news,
When Brian Naylor provided the answer
In a simple but shocking truth.
Eighty miles away from Melbourne
In the farmlands of Geelong,
A vicious wind swept down the valleys
And in seconds their precious top soil was gone.
Hours later the winds reached Melbourne
And as the gales force started to go slack,
The top soil was slowly dropped on Melbourne
Turning the whole town a dirty black.
© Copyright 2010
Philip Roberts


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