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Sport 40: 2012


page 383


The woman next door sings so slowly someone
must have died. She practices her sorry aria
through the walls. When we bump on the steps
she is neighbourly, maybe, with her purple eyes.
She tries for lightness. The radio tells me it snows
somewhere south. Drifts fall down for days. The
presenter uses the word ghastly far too often. In
the ghastly snow, he says, animals dig for their
calves. When we met on the path my own voice
was chestnut and dumb. ‘It’s a ghastly thing,’ I
said. ‘It was a ghastly mistake.’ In the dark the
woman’s voice touches a sweet, high place. It’s a
small cupboard where her children once hid when
she tried to explain—which you never really can—
hy the animals must paw in the cold, brown
slush. Where are their young? Who hears their low
fallow voices?