1. ‘No one kept count
Of all the comings and goings_’
Why didn’t anyone keep count? What does this suggest? How is a permanent home different from a transient home?
List differences you can think of between a permanent place of resident and a transient place place?
2. Focus on the meaning and intention of the word in the third line “newcomers”.What does it suggest about the status of the people who have been in the hostel before the new arrivals? How can the meaning here be transferred to society in general?
3. ‘In busloads’ is used to describe the new people in the camp. Why does he use this particular word to describe them? What picture is created in your mind?
4. The word ‘departures’ is used to describe the people and what happens to them. Do the people have control over whether they stay or go? Why the very concise use of this word? Why do you think Peter Skrzynecki may not describe them further?
5. ‘That left us wondering
‘Who would be coming next.’
Who is ‘us’? What does ‘us’ add to the stanza and our understanding of the poet’s sense of belonging?