What the aluminium can lady thinks

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Satisfaction enough

Her momentum surprises around street corners,
the pram wheels cross-hatching the blue bitumen
between the hills elbowing the Lismore basin.

Standing on the edge, she migrates the long, thin pole
around the recycling dumpster. Beer bottles clink, aluminium

cans become metal kebabs. I throw squashed bourbon cans
onto the pram. She turns, a thin smile creasing her stern face.

I often wonder what the aluminium can lady thinks about.
I imagine

that on the road: her set eyes read the worlds of nature —
the sky as upturned colander, shaking droplets of rain;
the branches of the spotted gums lining with bird alphabets;

that at home: she rests the pram at the back door,
aches striping her ankles; she switches the kettle on,
her breath heaving, her feet crossed on a chair
which for now is satisfaction enough.

–Peter Mitchell

The physicist's wife considers 

She clutters the kitchen bench
with a myriad of glasses. Designed
originally for the evasion of tax,
the enclosed air twist of stems
will determine their value
independent of him — in this
the only expanse he would (at
times) leave to her, his wife.

The assessor is late
moving smoothly from apology
to rhapsody ...
__________multiple spirals
__________paired filaments
__________double knopped
__________what a pity almost
__________a set ... and two
__________with a mercury twist

She need only appear to listen
__________the rotation of ...
Always — he described himself
as a Master — one who could
trust in his skill with heat
and blow to hollow tools
(with such precision)
that a liquid state emerging
from extreme pressure
was notated into elegance.

Sealed in a silence resonant with glass,
another writes a persuasive formula
while she cradles a vessel having
no memory of wine.

The scent of dying basil ...
a shadow leaves her hands ...
a void.

__________oh! how lucky
__________more resilient
__________than one would imagine and
__________now ... have you decided?

Using old papers edged with equations
she boxes them all herself
avoiding the cost — twenty-eight dollars.

–Kathryn Hamann 

Peter MitchellPeter Mitchell lives in the Rainbow Region of NSW, writing poetry, short fiction, memoir, literary criticism and a range of journalism. His collection of poetry, The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press) was published in 2009.

Kathryn Hamann is a Melbourne based poet. She is the author of five books; the latest, The Threshold of Silence, appeared in 2008. Her work has appeared Australia wide as well as overseas.

Topic tags: new australian poems, Satisfaction Enough, Peter Mitchell, Kathryn Hamann, physicist's wife considers



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Fantastic images to take through my day. Thank you.

Josephine | 18 June 2010  

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