Monday, January 02, 2012


As if he can’t believe the heat either

a crow, glossy as an oil slick

staggers under the supermarket awning

with his beak hanging open.

I shop for things we might require:

Arnotts Assorted Creams, 40 fish fingers,

5 litres of milk, yoghurt by the bucket.

In the carpark my husband runs the air-conditioning

the baby lolls sideways in his seat

and the girls play animal vegetable or mineral.

Una is a letterbox

Fred is a potato cake

Una is a pancake in the shape of a dead guy.

At the cash register I run back for dishwashing liquid.

A woman says sternly into the telephone

hooked up to the loudspeaker:

there is a Nissan Patrol with a dog inside

and no windows open if you are in the store

please attend to your animal.

I walk out into the sweltering carpark of the late afternoon.

This human world is melting into the hills.

We drive into the glare.

I join the game. They ask me: Are you an animal?

No. Are you a vegetable? Yes.

What sort of vegetable? they shriek

Mum? What sort of a vegetable are you?

Una asks are you crumby?

Laughing I look back at their laughing faces.

We drive past cows in their fields.

I am an apple pie.

The long day grows hotter.

Something is terribly wrong.