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Showing posts from 2008

From 'Antibes Journal'

1.

55 years of marriage
my dad falls asleep
before we cut the cake

My mother has angina, osteoporosis and Raynaud’s Syndrome. On the telephone her voice sounds broken, but she doesn’t know why.

I am moving 1,000 miles away from my parents at a time in their life when they could need me more than ever.

My mother will die before my father. Even though he is almost deaf he will move around the house listening for her. Sometimes he will call her name, then wait.



2.

Moving house is no.5 on a list of stressful life events. I don’t think this includes moving to another country where you don’t speak the language, and so many ordinary things you’ve taken for granted – making phone calls, getting house and car insurance, or keys cut, knowing that the words you need to get through the day are already waiting for you to call on them – become small mountains to conquer, or at least to begin ascending.

top ten stress busters
smile
exercise
get enough rest and sleep
positive thinking
reach out to o…

Some Weekends

It looks like rain. Your throat hurts. The prawns are off. The cheese is bland. The wine is past its best. I get my period. You burn your arm. The promised sunshine never comes. We lose the planning appeal. The Aberdeen Angus steaks are rancid. I shout. The TV loses its sound. In the middle of the night the alarm goes off. Your throat still hurts. It rains. The mango is rotten at the core.

break
in the rain
birdsong

frogpond - Volume 31:2, 2008

Little Brother

My brother is five years old again. ‘Do you want to go on an adventure?’ I ask him. I have money in a plastic envelope, bags of sweets, our thick coats. He looks out of the window and says, ‘But things are going to get worse.’ He’s right. The moon shivers across the dark sea as we look out at the lines of rising surf, our hands pressed to the glass. When the storm comes I feel it pound against the chalet’s thin wooden walls, through the veil of my dream.

a little boy stares
at his fists full of sand
sails on the horizon

He is 44 this year and has children by three different women: a daughter of eighteen who has lived in the States for the past ten years, a boy of eleven whose mother disappeared with him when he was only a few months old, and Morgan, his baby son with Manuela. The invitation to their wedding arrived this week. 'This time,' I say to myself, 'things will work out.'

warm wind
a man lifts his hands
from the handlebars

My sister and I taught him how to play cards…

Fast Train

When the 17.22 heads out of Victoria and begins to pick up speed I start thinking about seatbelts, or the absence of seatbelts, and how in an emergency I might be thrown onto the woman opposite, cracking my head against hers, or puncturing my face on a corner of her open hardback book. But then I notice her breasts which are packed beneath a bib of pink frills, her tiered paisley skirt rumpling in waves over plump knees, her curly hair the colour of hazelnuts, her milky skin, which takes me back to her breasts which are pendulous, generous. And I’ve forgotten about seatbelts, as I shift my knees to one side to get a view of her feet, the shoes she’s wearing which I know will make all the difference to whether she’ll scream and push me away as I fall, or cradle my face away from her book, those wonderful breasts receiving me like a tumbled duvet.

not knowing
how to hold her
my mother at eighty

Frogpond 2007, Vol XXX, No 3, and
dust of summers (Red Moon Press 2008)