This almost King Country morning

Out on the wooden porch wringing clothes in this clear
almost King Country morning I hear the slap, slap

slap, slap of my grandmother's washing-machine; sharp
as these morning-blue hills I see its mangle standing.

And smell the cramped smell – worn carpet, coal-range, soup
heavy with celery – filling the room where her bible's gilt pages

are open, calling. While my other grandmother, rich
in my grandfather ever warm beside her, wanders
this sweet bush, crossing fields, gathering mushrooms
for a table crowded with pikelets, stories, the strong

tea that she's pouring. Forgive this childless woman
pegging clothes in your darned socks – her table, sunny
with newly-hatched chicks, long since broken-up.

Posted: Sat 20 Dec, 2014