Migrant Hostel Parkes, 1949-51 . No one kept count of all the comings and goings— arrivals of newcomers in busloads from the station, sudden departures from adjoining blocks that left us wondering who would be coming next.
Nationalities sought each other out instinctively— like a homing pigeon circling to get its bearings; years and name-places recognised by accents, partitioned off at night by memories of hunger and hate.
For over two years we loved like birds of passage— always sensing a change in the weather: unaware of the season whose track we would follow.
A barrier at the main gate sealed off the highway from our doorstep— as it rose and fell like a finger pointed in reprimand or shame; and daily we passed underneath or alongside it— needing its sanction to pass in and out of lives that had only begun or were dying.