‘Your mother’s house has no windows
and her clock was missing numbers;
looks like dementia,’ my father
said. Four years on, he’s dead; she’s 91
living at home alone, burning
the bottoms clean out of pots. ‘None
left for you to inherit,’ she says. Today
her slow cooker’s taking too long
to cook corned beef, there’s a summer
storm and according to her, they’ve turned
the power down, reduced its potency,
‘only in Henderson, mind.’ Everything
is political or conspiracy. ‘In Remuera,’
ovens burn hot as ever. ‘Philip says
the bad weather follows us wherever
we go, ‘I say. ‘Follows him, not you,
don’t you take the blame,’ she responds
not missing a beat. Makes me wonder,
if she was pretending all along,
deliberately omitting windows
and numbers in the doctor’s clinic.
Dottiness being one way to escape.
Diane Brown’s publications include two collections of poetry (Before The Divorce We Go To Disneyland, Tandem 1997—winner of the NZSA Best First Book of Poetry at the Montana Book Awards 1997 ; Learning to Lie Together, Godwit 2004), two novels (If The Tongue Fits, Tandem 1999; Eight Stages of Grace, Vintage 2002—a verse novel which was a finalist in the Montana Book Awards 2003), a travel memoir (Liars and Lovers, Vintage 2004) and a prose/poetic work, Here Comes Another Vital Moment, Godwit 2006. She is currently writing a novel, Hooked and is the co-ordinator and tutor for Creative Writing Otago.
Return to the Tuesday Poetry Blog and dive into the side bar for an incredible variety of edible poems. And be sure to read editor for the week Helen Rickerby’s choice; a selection from Helen Heath’s new book, Graft.