The Black Rat by Iris Clayton
He lived in a tin hut with a hard dirt floor.
He had bags sewn together that was his door.
He was a Rat of Tobruk until forty five,
He was one of the few that came back alive.
Battered and scarred he fought for this land,
And on his return they all shook his hand.
The price of fighting for the freedom of man
Did not make any difference to this Blackman.
He returned to the outback, no mates did he find.
If he had a beer he was jailed and then fined.
He sold all his medals he once proudly wore:
They were of no use to him any more.
Confused and alone he wandered around,
Looking for work though none could be found.
The Anzac marches he badly neglected,
Would show to his comrades how he was rejected.
He fought for this land so he could be free.
Yet he could not vote after his desert melee.
And those years in the desert they really took their toll,
He went there quite young and he came home so old.
This once tall man came from a proud Black tribe,
Died all alone – no one at his side.