Thursday, January 03, 2008

"Six"

By Adam Gibson ©

After a night spent cleaning pots
at the Duckpond Cafe,
her hair smells of cauliflower.
It's a childhood smell like wet dog,
station wagon holidays and
sand around the ankles.

Suddenly she is six again,
there is cricket on TV.
The taste of oleander is in her mouth
and is her first remembered mistake.

Suddenly again, she is in school,
her first short-socked day with plaits.
The teacher smells of biscuits and
leans to ask her name and age.
"Rebecca" she says, and bites her lip
and looks around the room.
She's five-years-old but can count to ten
and likes the sound of seven.

"And how old are you Rebecca?" the teacher says
and Rebecca says: "Seven"

She's moved up a class
and can't keep up and is
shortest in the form.
She leaves in Year 10 and
hits the drink and
soon her first kid is born.
She gets a job working nights
at the Duckpond Cafe.
She's a kitchen hand and
the work is okay
but she often recalls that
stupid day
when she bumped up her age,
rose a year up to seven...

What would've only panned out
if only she'd just said "six".

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Hi Adam,
I'm still really enjoyinh logging on to read your poems.