At Border­town Races

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books - Ger­ald Mur­nane

I might well have made a case for that day’s be­ing my best so far. Of the hun­dreds of faces in the crowd, none looked in my di­rec­tion, not even the few young women I had to look twice at. Be­fore long I was no more an el­derly wid­ower new to the dis­trict; I had gone back to a time when my true life, so to call it, was one of a dozen pos­si­bil­i­ties. I knew noth­ing of any wife or sons or books with my name on their cov­ers No more need to pre­tend! I could be my true self at last: none other than the soli­tary boy of fif­teen who loved rac­ing first, just ahead of po­etry and whose teach­ers and par­ents never preached or rec­om­mended higher goals. I spent much time star­ing at train­ers from Nara­coorte or Mur­ray Bridge or Mount Gam­bier and de­cid­ing which one I ought to work for as a sta­ble­hand.

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