on the edge of the chair
As if the soft cushion can support his current equilibrium
As if the soft cushion can break his fall
Reaches for a cup of tea
but can’t just reach
Has to feel around
-smooth laminex-gritty crust crumbs-flimsy paper plate- thin plastic cup (oops)
Tackle plastic cup
loses the fight with the cup.
wn the front of his shirt
Not that he would know
what colour his shirt was today anyway
Chest, however, is still warm and dry.
Katrina must have put a napkin there
Recognise Katrina’s gait tha-thump
Reach – soft, light and feathery but slippery, her hair slides through fingers
Feel higher- rough felt and itchy prickly balls, perhaps pompoms. Felt is jaggered, inconsistent, like a tree branch. One conclusion. Christmas Antlers.
Hand is quicklybroughttoface
Vanilla. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Custard Tart. Honey.
This is Katrina.
voice pauses awkwardly.
vibrato held for too long.
No, This Elvis is Not Real. Earlier, Elvis talked. Said my name. Definitely not the real Elvis.
Crying in the Chapel?
If it weren’t for the antlers,
Wouldn’t have known it was Christmas
balanced on the edge of gravity
teeters on the last hope of equilibrium
perches on the stinging, scalding metal of the see-saw
Clings to the rubber of the handle-bar for relief
but not far. Springs back up again.
Inertia pulls neck down, while violently lifting his body to the heavens.
Strong thighs leap off, into the sand pit.
Grit in shoes. Grit in undies. Grit in hair. Grit in eyes.
Rub eyes, inflamed.
Open. To a Caribbean Blue sky
So cloudless you could see Saturn
If you tried.
Drink in the wholesome blue of the sky.
Dazed by a bright red tartan picnic rug
Small boy with lime-green overalls. Overalls that have obviously seen a thousand and one paint balls.
Small boy has artistic skills.
Small boy has balance and courage. Those monkey bars have humiliated and defeated many a brave warrior.
Boy drops, hearing the barely audible call of his mother by the red tartan rug.
sprint towards the boy,
Size 4, mud-stained volleys fly up in a flurry of giggles. Hazel eyes stare and twinkle with mirth.
Pause the live combat,
Nose to the air.
Woody, incensed, sharp and fragrant.
‘Tis the season to be back-burning.
Meaty, salty, sharp and fragrant.
‘Tis the season for family BBQ’s on a public griddle. (Entrust the hygiene of the entire extended family to a squirt of lemon juice on the hotplate before the feast).
This. This is Christmas.