Inge Meldgaard


Born in Denmark in 1953, I migrated to Australia with my family in 1957. After spending my school years in Yallourn, I moved to Melbourne in 1970 to attend Monash University. Having graduated with a science degree in 1975, I worked in various fields, such as youth work, teaching, politics (with a s…

Toasted cinnamon buns,
hot, flavoursome and sweet,
made for Easter morning
with laughter and delight;
a day full of meaning.

Toasted cinnamon buns,
the never forgotten
scent as they were rising
in the warmth of an old
wood stove; yeast cells growing.

Toasted cinnamon buns,
the cross carefully placed
to symbolise our hope,
our childhood dreams of joy;
rainbows, bubbles of soap.

Toasted cinnamon buns,
butter overflowing,
each cheerful smiling face;
so very long ago,
now lost without a trace.

I was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, but migrated to Australia in 1957. We moved to the small town of Yallourn, in Victoria, in 1959, where we lived until my sister and I left to attend tertiary education in Melbourne. Not long afterwards, during the 1970s, this beautiful and unique little town was obliterated from the face of the earth under the auspices of economic rationalism. An entire generation mourns its loss to this day. Not even a plaque was put there to commemorate our lives and its destruction. There is a short entry in Wikipedia, and several books have been written about Yallourn. The site is now remembered mainly for its power stations.

This poem refers to the memories of warmth as we sat in our kitchen, heated by an old wood stove, which we used for most of our cooking. Easter was always a special time, and the town looked particularly beautiful in autumn, when the many mature deciduous trees changed colour.

The poem is in the format of a ‘Monchielle’, where each line has 6 syllables, the first line repeats in each verse, and there are four verses, each with 5 lines. The third and fifth line of each verse rhyme.