Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Off the Cuff 13: Socks & A lifetime in & out of love for Melbourne Ch 1

APAD 13     prompt: a love poem


This became a morning joke:
she would ask both of us
if she could borrow a pair.
She washes them afterwards,
rolls them as she ought.

On Monday, while she was
at college, I selected the six
pairs she likes best. I put them
on her bed. From now on
they belong to her feet.

Driving to work this morning along the new bypass, I realised I have had a long-term love/dislike relationship to Melbourne, the City. So I've begun a series called A Lifetime In and Out of Love for Melbourne.

Chapter 1: 1950 - 1954

Luckily, when I was small,
I was everything and
everything was me, until

that day, the date never known,
when I became an entity, and
home showed up as a half-house

on a busy road in Ormond
where the number was 132
and I told Daddy it should be

123 (that's the right order).
He had made a number plate
for my wooden train, just

the same, and I was angry
at the inaccuracy. I was three,
at least. God, judge and separate

already. From this house
I learned to take my sister by
public bus to kindergarten.

I loved the black doll
in the pusher, pretending
I was Mum. My sister

refused to continue
because of The Pinchy Boy
but I still went, alone on the bus

several blocks, happy.
Kindergarten was in a church.
It still stands in Grange Road.

Daddy was a tally clerk,
then he studied teaching.
He had a set of printer's

blocks because before me
there was another life
making newspapers. I

loved to organise the blocks
alphabetically. Melbourne
for me then was dappled

light, Dad's knee, excited
conversations, folk music
and the Unions (which were-

like Daddy's cooking
and Mummy's ironing -
right and necessary).


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