by Ruby Mary Gill

today is father’s day
says every billboard in the city
the mugs are on sale
the surcharge on the brunch is exorbitant 
and the pub beers are just as they were yesterday
and he deserves it of course
this half of your dna
but what he really needs is one good day off
for someone to say thank you and mean it
for the weight of self-preservation to be lifted off his shoulders
to be hugged in the doorway by his dad
to burn his suit and his sadness with it
to walk through the dark with his dog and his child
throwing sticks into the river
telling jokes about the weather
to be looked after
to be allowed to feel hurt
instead, the mug is $15
he’ll use it in the office
and never say a word.

Writer by day, singer-songwriter by night, and birdwatcher all the time, Ruby Mary Gill was raised in a forest in South Africa and grounded in Naarm/Melbourne. She’s renowned for her direct wit, poignant vulnerability, and uncanny knack for weaving a story out of a bird. Her words have greeted the earth in several forms, including Port Fairy Folk Festival’s ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ award. In all things, she does her best to pay attention.