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Sport 2: Autumn 1989

Dunedin: Playing Scrabble with My Aunt

page 48

Dunedin: Playing Scrabble with My Aunt

She has fallen asleep
between words.
The white wave of her hair
(I always remember her
netting it in at night)
is tangling the line of her letters.

Outside, yellowed birches
fidget in thin grey rain.
In here, the late dark afternoon
sits still, and waits.

She jerks up. There's a small skitter
of letters onto the board.
She builds 'handle'
on to my 'flare'.

My turn.
Through the window
there are purple hydrangeas
and last brown dahlias.
Rain gathers
on the washing line
in grey glass drops.

I can put 'pause'
against her word,
or maybe 'span'.
No, 'pause' is better.

page 49

On the hill above,
a tall boarded house
juts its verandahs
out over the bush.
(Kinastons', she'd said,
undertakers in town.
She remembers them all,
fathers, sons, grandsons.)
It stares down boldly
to see the next move.

It's hers.

But she's fallen asleep