trout [ 9 ] October 2001
Sally Ann McIntyre [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

Cafe with radio and tree

five o’clock, after opening petals,
beaks to small bone china suns,
bright spots of caffeine & tannin,
our small, dense crowd of hot-house hands
droops resting stems emptily,
heavily, as fruit-sated pigeons.

bending its shadow in question a tree
leans, arcing
the coffee coloured afternoon
across my lukewarm eye, windless &
minimal, how solid
its cold wave of quiet is
and in wooden self-freize hanging,
without room in length of curve
for any channel,

unlike the cafe, busy with
my blood’s hollow wallop on window-
glass, the insectoid-diamond scrape
of the room in it’s cyclic groove-line,
this insistent conversational
needling, a bored student carving

initials in an endless
formica afternoon - her own
or those of one she theorises to know.
This scrape is the city's rythym, at which
the tree’s head-hung stillness
neither shakes nor nods.

The tree does not hear it, it is spare,
almost deaf, a poetic
that asks nothing of my public ear

and waits instead for another hearing, from a coil
re-broken and patched,
the carteledge of a sense i must remember to flesh
with attention.

Tree, you are no table on which
to lean a distracted elbow, and seem
to survive on a menu of air, as I order bagels
and the cars glide sleek between us
in the window’s false mirror, the pristine
of the scene’s completion.


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© 2001 Trout &
Sally Ann McIntyre