O’Brien’s Car


The years rolled on as he dropped the clutch,

And hopped the roads of Gundagai;

Many miles and years have gone,

As he toiled ‘neath southern sky.


His Telstar now sits idle there,

Under the carport tall;

At times, these days, it’s hard to bear,

His gentle, but plaintive call.


He’s saddened now, as its wheels don’t flow,

His independence lies still on the stones;

The pain within, only he can know,

As he feels it in aging bones.


A passenger now, he may well be,

As it seems his driving days may be done;

We only hope that he can see,

He’s still a valued one.


He may not drive in coat and beret,

Or race other cars at the lights;

But I do hope he can see today,

He’s still joy for many of our nights.


As he struggles in his grief,

And walks away his sorrow;

We look on in hope and belief,

That he’ll smile with us tomorrow.


Goulburn, NSW, 22 September 2003

The late Fr John O’Brien originally hailed from Dublin, Ireland. Having studied at ‘All Hallows’ he came to Australia in the late 1940s.  Small in stature, but grand on wit, John knew the dark nights and days of depression too.  This poem was written after he had to hand his driver’s licence in.   People hate letting go and priests are just like anyone else in that regard.  We all struggle to adjust to changes in our lives.  May John rest in peace.

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