(dedicated to Miriam Murray née Ara!!)
Remember how I used to carry ice in from the road for the ice-chest, half running, the white rectangle clamped in bare hands the only utter cold in all those summer paddocks?
How, swaying, I'd hurry it inside en bloc and watering, with the butter and the wrapkJed bread precarious on top of it? "Poor Leslie, ' you would say, "your hands are as cold as charity -" You made me take the barrow but uphill it was heavy.
We'd no tongs, and a bag would have soaked and bumped, off balance.
I loved to eat the ice, chip it out with the butcher's knife, grey steel. It stopped good things rotting And it had a strange comb at its heart. a splintered horizon, rife with zero petals.
But you don't remember. A doorstep of numbed creek water the colour of tears but you don't remember. I will have to die before you remember.