Monday, January 02, 2012

41ºC

As if he can’t believe the heat either

a crow, glossy as an oil slick

staggers under the supermarket awning

with his beak hanging open.

I shop for things we might require:

Arnotts Assorted Creams, 40 fish fingers,

5 litres of milk, yoghurt by the bucket.

In the carpark my husband runs the air-conditioning

the baby lolls sideways in his seat

and the girls play animal vegetable or mineral.

Una is a letterbox

Fred is a potato cake

Una is a pancake in the shape of a dead guy.

At the cash register I run back for dishwashing liquid.

A woman says sternly into the telephone

hooked up to the loudspeaker:

there is a Nissan Patrol with a dog inside

and no windows open if you are in the store

please attend to your animal.

I walk out into the sweltering carpark of the late afternoon.


This human world is melting into the hills.

We drive into the glare.

I join the game. They ask me: Are you an animal?

No. Are you a vegetable? Yes.

What sort of vegetable? they shriek

Mum? What sort of a vegetable are you?

Una asks are you crumby?

Laughing I look back at their laughing faces.

We drive past cows in their fields.

I am an apple pie.

The long day grows hotter.

Something is terribly wrong.

1 comment:

Emanuel Cachia said...

Great poem, Penni.

I especialy like the imagery of the kids, and you and your husband, in the car wilting in the heat and the humerous, happy go lucky way the younger ones play 'animal or mineral'.

Emanuel