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Intervention Payback
I love my wife     she right skin for me     pretty one my wife     young one     found her at the next community over     across the hills      little bit  long way     not far
and from there she give me good kids     funny kids mine     we always laughing
all together     and that wife     she real good mother     make our wali real nice     flowers and grass patch and chickens     I like staying home with my kids

and from there I build cubby house     yard for the horse     see I make them things from left overs     from the dump     all the left overs from fixing the houses    
and all the left overs I build cubby house and chicken house

and in the house we teach the kids      don’t make mess     go to school  learn good so you can work round here later     good job     good life   and the government will leave you alone

and from there tjamu and nana tell them the story      when the government was worse   rations     government make up all the rules    but don’t know culture   can’t sit in the sand   oh tjamu and nana     they got the best story     we always laughing us mob    

and from there night time when we all asleep     all together on the grass patch     dog and cat and kids     my wife and me     them kids they ask really good questions  about the olden days     about today     them real ninti them kids     they gunna be right

and from there come intervention     John Howard     he make new rules     he never even come to see us     how good we was doing already     Mal Brough     he come with the army     we got real frightened true     thought he was gonna take the kids away     just like tjamu and nana bin tell us
I run my kids in the sand hills     took my rifle up there and sat     but they was all just lying     changing their words all the time     wanting meeting today  and meeting tomorrow     we was getting sick of looking at them     so everyone put their eyes down     and some even shut their ears
and from there I didn’t care too much     just kept working     fixing the housing     being happy  working hard     kids go to school     wife working hard too     didn’t care too much     we was right     we always laughing us mob     all together

but then my wife she come home crying     says the money in quarantine but I didn’t know why they do that     we was happy     not drinking and fighting     why they do that we ask the council     to stop the drinking and protect the children     hey you know me ya bloody mongrel I don’t drink     and I look after my kids   I bloody fight ya you say that again     hey  settle down  we not saying that    Mal Brough saying that     don’t you watch the television     he making the rules for all the mobs     every place Northern Territory     he real cheeky whitefella     but he’s the boss  we gotta do it

and from there I tell my wife she gets paid half    half in hand half in the store   her money in the store now     half and half    me too     all us building mob     but I can’t buy tobacco     or work boots     you only get the meat and bread     just like the mission days     just like tjamu and nana tell us
and from there I went to the store to get meat for our supper     but the store run out  only tin food left     so I asked for some bullets     I’ll go shoot my own meat  but sorry  they said     you gotta buy food     that night I slept hungry     and I slept by myself
thinking about it

and from there the government told us our job was finish     the government bin give us the sack     we couldn’t believe it     we been working CDEP for years     slow way we park the truck at the shed     just waiting  for something     for someone with tobacco

the other men’s reckon     fuck this     drive to town for the grog     but I stayed with my kids     started watching the television     trying to laugh     not to worry     just to be like yesterday

and from there  the politician man says  I give you real job   tells me to work again     but different     only half time  sixteen hours but I couldn’t understand   it was the same job as before     but more little     less pay     and my kids can’t understand     when they come home from school     why I cant buy the lolly for them  like I used to before     I didn’t want to tell them     I get less money for us now

and from there they say my wife earns too much money      I gonna miss out again     I’m getting sick of it     don’t worry she says     I’ll look after you     but I know that’s not right way     I’m getting shame     my brother     he shame too     he goes to town drinking     leaves his wife behind     leaves his kids

and from there I drive round to see tjamu     he says his money in the store too     poor bloke     he can’t even walk that far     and I don’t smile     I look at the old man   he lost his smile too   but nana she cook the damper and roo tail     she trying to smile     she always like that

and from there when I get home     my wife gone to town with the sister in law     she gone look for my brother     he might be stupid on the grog     he not used to it     she gotta find him     might catch him with another woman     make him bleed     drag him home

and from there my wife     she come back     real quiet     tells me she went to casino  them others took her     taught her the machines     she lost all the money     she lost her laughing

and from there all the kids bin watching us     quiet way     not laughing around     so we all go swimming down the creek     all the families there together     we happy again
them boys     we take them shooting     chasing the malu in the car     we real careful with the gun     not gonna hurt my kids  no way

and from there my wife     she sorry     she back working hard     save the money     kids gonna get new clothes     I gonna get my tobacco and them bullets     but she gone change again     getting her pay     forgetting her family     forget yesterday     only thinking for town     with the sister in law

and my wife     she got real smart now     drive for miles all dressed up     going to the casino with them other kungkas     for the Wednesday night draw

I ready told you I love my kids     I only got five     two pass away already     and I not complaining bout  looking after my kids     no way     but when my wife gets home     if she spent all the money     not gonna share with me and the kids

I might hit her     first time

Poet's Note: wali: house
tjamu: grandfather
ninti: clever
malu: kangaroo
kungkas: women