The words to say it

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  • Published 20070202
  • ISBN: 9780733320569
  • Extent: 280 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE FUNERAL WAS held in a rural town in New South Wales on the hottest day that year. I nodded at the priest and he nodded at me and then we avoided each other’s eyes for the rest of the brief service. A coffin sat in between us unadorned with flowers or symbolic belongings. The silent dry land surrounding the crematorium seemed a fitting backdrop to the event.

There was no eulogy about the great man he was, no generous accounts of the achievements of his forty-six years, no photocopied sheet containing his photo, a prayer and the words of a hymn to be sung. Just thin words that echoed around a room, two sweating professionals waving flies from their faces.

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