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.
Great poem, Penni.ReplyDelete
I especialy like the imagery of the kids, and you and your husband, in the car wilting in the heat and the humerous, happy go lucky way the younger ones play 'animal or mineral'.