mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Sport 32: Summer 2004

His Warmth As Always

His Warmth As Always

He has gone home,

rented a cottage
on a collective farm
with a barn attached
for warmth in winter,
and a clean river,
only a bus ride from the city.

He has two kitchen gardens,
five pigs,
two cows,
fifteen chickens,
one rooster,
six rabbits (small ones)
and two big ones (male and female)

four hundred metres square,
according to the official description;

but he still remembers
the cedar
he left behind
as a sapling

on the bank
where his cat
curled like a punga frond,

page 166

lay as long
as an agapanthus petal

and was buried
beside a daphne bush,
white, in memoriam.

A card arrives
from the snow,

a photograph of his cows
Marta and Boria,

and six wooden goblets,
painted, on a circular tray:
all gold leaves
and colourful fruits of the forest,
including strawberries.

‘Open champagne,’
the card seems to say.
‘Pour it out.
There is no harm in joy.
Be amongst good friends.’

‘Just think,’ he writes,
‘spring is almost here.
More sun, more blooms
and the cedar even higher.
I now have thirty-six chickens
and, each day, thirty-six eggs.
I am ready for summer.’

page 167

He loved the red-tinged cedar—

the tree that shaded
his parents
as they toiled
for their children

and, in early autumn,
as they gathered mushrooms
in the soft grass.

He will plant another.

He will light his fire
with its cones.

He will bottle
its aromatic oil

and send it by fast post
to protect us,

very soon.