Tuesday, January 29, 2013


She comes home and a man says
you can’t live here anymore.
Before she has a chance to look inside
at the furniture poised for flight
(coffee tables on ballet feet tiptoing about,
all the silly wingback chairs looking for a way out)
he shuts the door.
Three children play watchfully at the garden’s edge
and they are almost her children –
oldest girl with dust-brown hair,
middle child with starfish eyes
round morphing toddler made of both his sisters,
his hair cut in a perfect bowl
with blunt scissors.

She has stayed too long staring, the man appears
at the window and shoos her away,
curious neighbours have begun to gather.
She looks around and doesn’t recognise a soul.
She waves herself on, ‘Never mind,’ she calls,
‘My mistake.’ Are the children sorry to see her go?
Who knows. The oldest scoops the youngest up,
the baby wraps his arms around his sisters neck.
They keep playing, in murmuring whispers,
their serious game. She walks up the driveway.
They disappear into the outsized ornamental grasses.

As she walks up the road it as is if she is dragging
something conspicuously heavy behind her.
The faster she walks the more it’s there
until it grows its own shadow.
Oh, she says, taking a breath, It’s you.

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