David Prater



only steve ever called me snowy rode
a motorbike to work & white socks with
his black work boots i guess he was the
kind of guy ladies like his strong italian
good looks dark pigmented skin & soft
voice calm as a macchiato in a barista’s
steady hand steve called me snowy for
no real reason everyone else preferring
instead to ignore me until it was time to
do more work hey davey boy come over
here & help me with these bags of flour
that’s the way i’ll be back in a sec & see
this list of orders you just need to grab
one of each give us a yell i’d wheel that
trolley round the warehouse collecting
a tin of coffee three bags of breadcrumb
mixture but steve had his own little white
truck he did all of the northern suburbs
deliveries it never looked like hard work
sometimes when i got there at 6am  the
batemans bay truck was still there &
it was crammed with so much stuff you
wondered how they ever got it all out
g’day snowy steve’d say as he parked
his bike inside the warehouse gates on
some days i got to read out the orders
while the other guys threw boxes into
the back of this truck or that i came to
understand it was because i could read
& also because i was weaker than the
others does every factory floor & every
store have its snowy the kid that some
people treat kindly while others abhor
i realise also snowy was tintin’s dog &
number one pal & so i try not to think
of steve giving me a ride home on his
bike & complimenting my steel-capped
boots when i left i was what you’d call
a partly qualified storeman (bigger &
stronger but still nave as a snowfield
awaiting the footprints of the first fox



David Prater is a writer, editor, teacher and student rolled into one. He was born in Dubbo, Australia in the Year of the Rat’s Tail (1972). Since 2000 he has been the Managing Editor of Cordite Poetry Review (cordite.org.au), an online poetry journal funded by the Australia Council for the Arts. His debut poetry collection, We Will Disappear, was released in 2007 by soi3 (papertiger media).