Howard Firkin
The town’s a tourist town, a seaside town
and you can get, well, anything you want in town
especially if it’s bait you want,
or hooks or lines or good advice.

The town’s not built around producing anything
but sunshine, oysters, postcards,
and accommodation: five star motels
through to van sites, perm or cas.

The townsfolk troll for golfers,
fishermen and retirees, and anybody bruised by life
and needing comfortable respite
and with the wherewithal to buy it.

A tourist town in season, this one’s full
of secrets: secret fishing spots, the cafe with
the best bugs in Australia, the hidden beach
that only you and half a dozen surfies know,

the special walks the rangers don’t show tourists,
all the postcards written to the other woman,
posted on a secret trip to town,
the middens and the burial grounds.

And if you want to know a secret,
I can tell you where they’re biting—
where they’re always bloody biting—
it’s a secret: in Merimbula again this year.