Thursday, 10 February 2011

Practicalities (a story in parts)

I had not thought before
About what it might have meant.
And if I had,
In the vaguest of ways,
It took place indoors
In a Bexley kitchen,
Lace at the windows.

But you drove to the woods.

You drove to the woods,
Parked your car
And walked
Tracing fungi secrets,
Bright pebbles in your pocket,
With wary fingers.
Amanita Muscaria,
Red cap.
Peeping tomahawks
Edging at your fingertips,
Scalping at your skin.

You drove from the chemist
With his small leather smile,
And from your husband
Who never smiled at all.

You drove from your daughters
Who you had cultivated like oyster mushrooms
Little, wide skirted things
In the dry and arid heat of Rhodesia.
They would lift their sticky hands
And sallow faces to you as though you were
The small cervices of light
Peeping through gaps in the shed walls.
Their skin was mushroom flesh,
And their voices crept.
You loved them
But they followed you like the moon,
Turning ever so slightly,
On stalks around the room.

They drove you to distraction.

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