A world of existence poised on the brink: Cuba
and Kennedy, my tarnished innocence. Wingie
McDonald was the first dead man I saw. They
called him that because he’d lost one arm: a
fall in the mine, a winch rope snapped in
the bush. Plenty of men in the town left bits
underground for the rats. Wingie was a
fielder for Blackball, down at the Domain.
We lay in the grass, bored in the sinking sun.
When Wingie fell over we thought he’d just
fainted, the team standing over him, all looking
down. Their faces got grimmer, they shooed us
away. A whisper went round the kids, “He’s dead!”
The first man I saw die, on Sunday, playing cricket.