Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two (Month of Poetry #25)

(for L. and C.)

An extra pair of feet dash sparks across the carpet
and two bodies fling a whirl of hair and arms
onto the bed. Never I have seen the springs
(for all the winters this mattress has endured)
pressed down with such pretty squeals.
Snags and plain sangers are the
holiest of menus: Mary’s kitchen is suddenly
full of angels with Vegemite faces. Two:
one who doesn’t notice if it’s white,
one who would otherwise avail herself of any
opportunity. To burst into tears (either
of them or us) is acceptable and overtired.
As I write this, sitting in the kitchen sink are
the cast off dinner pleadings. I know
tofu can taste superb. “Yes, it really can
be eaten. No, it’s not kitchen sponge.”
Their adult-mirrored curl of lip calls me false.

At bed-time, they take arrangements without
a twitch of eyebrow or serrated silence.
This change of bedding expectation, it
must be a cultural thing. Says Mum:
“Kids adjust to anything. It’s adults
that have a crisis over cereal branding.”
Two: damp with play, slack with sleep.
we made them, one each, from our bodies.
They think us heroes, able to cut off Medusa’s
head without being turned into stone or
find our tenderness baked cold into mudbrick.
We smooth back hair, pull their softness
to us again and again to feel that we live near.
A tribe of bloodless white people we have been.
These two; small and primary, soon shock us awake
in the morning quarter-dark. Infuriating and loveborn,
their shouts defibrillate the day.


Today's post is based on suggestions from eight people:

  • @timsterne: "We live near a tribe of bloodless white people" (Lydia Davis, Samuel Johnson Is Indignant)
  • @marklawrence: "to cut off Medusa's head without being turned to stone" (Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium)
  • @ChanletB: "I have seen the springs, for all the winters" (Kay Jamison, An Unquiet Mind)
  • @realnixwilliams: "Tofu can taste superb - yes, it really can" (Rose Elliot, Fast, Fresh and Fabulous: Rose Elliot's New Vegetarian Cookbook)
  • @notcharming: "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink" (Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle)
  • @matchtrick: '"It must be a cultural thing,'" says Mum.' (Shaun Tan, Eric)
  • @attentive: "who would otherwise avail herself of any opportunity to burst into tears" (WG Sebald, The Rings of Saturn)
  • @ernamalleyscat: "Mary's kitchen is suddenly full of angels" (Andrew Marlton, The Story of the Christmas Story)

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