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Dandenong's Girl...
Cassie (Sully) Thompson 1913-1996

Artwork by Fuego
Music by Enya

Dandenongs girl

Cassie (Sully) Thompson 1913-1996

I watched her shuffle away
clad in frivolous sneakers
that amazed old Bushmen,
smoke dangling precarious
from her lipstick aversion lips.
“Goin’ up the track
boil some tea for me ‘round 7”
said with her usual airy wisp.

I first came across her
during a salad day
in searing summer, near
the waterfall she claimed as home.
A “G’day” was how she greeted me.
“Bit overdressed isn’t ya?”
Disdainfully she looked at my
brand new boots, brand name pants,
pristine bush hat, designer sunglasses.

I sat down
as if in the presence
of a forested Goddess.
“For cripes sake don’t ever wear 
aftershave in the bush!”
wryly she intoned,
more or less the extent of our
first conversation.
Over many iron summers
and snow clad winters
I drifted into her along
tracks of the Dandenongs.
Always clad in those
absurd sneakers.

From her actions
I crafted my bush art,
discovered a love of Billy tea
and balladry.
Caught the sound of the Whip-Bird
and elusive Lyre.
Amazed at the wonder flight
of Hair-streaked butterflies.
Learnt to distinguish
a Wattle from a Sassafras tree.
All this time
I never knew where she lived,
what she did, what she really thought,
except her bush devotions.

I found her body
near her seething waterfall
in a quiet rising summer’s evening,
smoked cigarette in hand
hat beside her body.
She looked not like the goddess
I first met
those seasoned years ago,
but an angel now
claiming one final devotion 

I imagined her

walking beyond

her bush domain in those absurd sneakers.

(c) Terry B. Lee

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