Journal » Trout 17 » Tidying The Child's Room [Elizabeth Smither]
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Tidying the child's room

Elizabeth Smither

Every surface is claimed and on the mat
homeless detritus lies. Tiny silver stars,
disjoined blocks, a page from a book,
a ball of dust swept up by passing feet.

What universe are we making? Outside the lawn
gleams and waves in the applauding sun.
A bird hops and sings. The dog rolls
on the deck when one flank is warmed.

Against the window your budgerigar sings.
Its mate escaped last week. You were
cleaning the cage, shaking droppings from
the yellowing newspaper, filling the water trough

when outdoors beckoned. Luckily you
slammed down the portcullis before you cried.
Later you lay on your rumpled cosy bed
(a straight coverlet would not have comforted)

and the two worlds looked back at you.
The crunching carpet, like crackling ice
the vista of blue into which the budgerigar
flew, untrained as you are, and as new.


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© Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Smither & Trout.