Sport 27: Spring 2001
The day orange. He gazed out over the area.
He surveyed the area. Angles, distances
he already knew. A slight breeze,
which he would leave to instinct.
The woman came up behind him and touched
his shoulder. He could could smell her excitement;
her excitement smelt like boiled clams.
He thought of his mother, her voice pinking down the thread
of her worsted life, his father, marching out of the room.
He knelt down. He could see the first glints of the motorcade
down the long, tree-lined avenue, coming toward him
like the future.
The overgrown airfield. The bare tree wresting
through asphalt and surrounded
by mouldering fruit. We pick over it, through it…
the shiny oozing heels. It's quiet here and
no dogs. The sky's pale fountain; your yielding smoke:
and inside, the ash departure lounge with its ticking walls.
Pick, pick, pick, pick. Wires spew
into our waiting pouches. We drink our fill
and rest out the glare—its immaculate gesture
a lost glove. You show my fingers
your kinked backbone. The very hairs
on our heads are numbered. We leave
murmuring our thank yous.
We are all all right. Dirty and bedraggled
but all right. Tessa (1.5) sits in the pushchair
leaking river water and mewing softly to herself.
We unravel her clothes until she is
a chattering pool on the back step,
a tadpole to be carried to the bath.
You comb the river bottom from her hair,
while I trawl her tiny silted layers in a bucket.
I add my jersey with its wet hug-print down the front.
The fire will not light. Anna remembers the ducks