(The Day Gibby taught Herb a lesson)
Can you give a bro a dollar mate, or a cigarette or two,
if anyone can afford it, well it looks like it might be you?
He stopped me fast within my tracks, gob smacked I was that day,
for normally I wouldn’t turn my head but this time I turned his way.
You’ve got a cheek mate I said to him, but I like the way you busk,
there are those with whom I see right through and others that I trust.
A smoke I cannot give you mate, for your death I cannot shoulder,
one buck I have, be you prepared to leave a cigarette to smoulder.
His black face stared right at me, as I braced for possible condemnation,
instead a set of brilliant teeth lit up like the night sky’s constellation.
Let me get this straight white fella, you expect me to use this coin to earn,
when all my brothers receive royalties, they sit down with bucks to burn.
As I sat down on the kerb there was a strong sense of whiskey in the air,
for one moment when he lit a smoke I thought this bloke has got no idea.
My name’s Herb from the upper Ord, what’s yours if you don’t mind,
Mother called me Gibby, and my poor Brothers called me Jimmy Kind.
You whities hate this humbugging, but not one job can you give.
For all I need is money for my two children, so that they can live.
We have little food or drink on the table, as no table do we own.
Our home burnt down and took their Mother leaving us alone.
Gibby, I hope to help you learn what no Elder can teach you today,
It’s got little to do with money and much more with what you say.
I will give you my lucky dollar, conditional you follow a simple plan,
Instead of asking for one’s money, I want you to value add if you can.
Now Gibby thought I had been sniffing near the petrol pump that day,
He staggered to his feet, whispering I have only one more thing to say.
Herb you must be a raving lunatic, or just like me you’re turnin mad,
but the fact you took the time to stop, makes me this day feel glad.
I will do whatever you advise, for I think you have a generous heart,
gear me up Bro, the night is young and your task I’m good to start.
So I placed my coin in Gibby’s palm, and said listen to what I will say,
you offer first with money, in return for food to feed your kids today.
Very few could possibly refuse you, as most have in their hearts to give,
the fundamental reason we exist, is to teach our families how to live.
Grasping tight one dollar coin, Gibby began to smarten up his clobber,
for suddenly a task began to feel to him, as if he was no more a robber.
As he advanced towards a lady, I thought how he might use my buck,
Gibby held his palm well out, saying please this will bring you good luck.
Of course the Lady stopped right there, just as I had done this day,
she glanced at Gibby and then the coin, tell me again what you did say?
Gibby’s smile was so infectious, as his chest rose up for this occasion,
Miss I offer you my lucky coin, in return for a poor family’s resurrection.
Perhaps an apple for little Tommy for his empty lunchbox would relieve,
Or lettuce leaves for my Miss Jennie, give her one more chance to believe.
Of course young man, the Lady said, I love how you put your family first,
keep your coin I will return, with food and money to quench a families thirst.
Well I could not believe my ears and soon both eyes were filled with tears,
how a simple task with a dollar coin brought good luck to a family in arrears.
With many coins and grocery bag in hand, Gibby turned to me with pride,
Hey Herb old Mate, that was lots of fun, but I’m real sorry to say I lied...
Shocked and speechless I stood there, for five moments in the sun,
You see Herb my families gone, and now I just love foolin everyone!