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Sport 38: Winter 2010

Show me the way

Show me the way

Where did you learn the way to do this hard strong common thing?

On a clever single bed you forget to cover yourself in your big dying, forget the geography and landform of yourself.

Who has taught you to pluck and pull at sheets?

Who discovers the bruises under old dry soft skin? Who could name these dark new lakes?

Now there is so much to forget such as:
  • The stiff articulation of your hips, the particular walker you push, its tray and basket with your crumpled handkerchief, a crossword puzzle book
  • How you want new clothes but in the sales they only have clothes for pygmies and it's not fair
  • How in the Day Room at the home we sang Show Me the Way to Go Home.
  • Ballroom, all that dancing, the pair of you at RSA dos
  • And you sailed round the islands in a banana boat
  • Then Miss Inez who whacked you every day for nothing
  • Or the brother who ran like the wind, but rheumatic fever, rheumatic fever
  • The matching outfits, black and white, your mother sewed for the girls to wear in the competitions
  • How you were made supervisor, but the noise, the din, it gets to you in the end
  • That vodka is no good, you did it once, but in the morning you paid for it.
  • How you would sit in the sun with your striped grey warm cat called Cleo
page 123

Your eyes almost focus, tilt themselves to my face.

Why is your hair still brown? Why does it crinkle from a perm (your permanent wave)?

I want to wave now. Bye Bye you say to me. I say it back, wriggle my fingers as women do.

Permanent wave.