12 Degrees & Skiving

what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice

Ancestors in a Shadow

while shovelling
a pile of stones the colour of my eighty-four-year-old nonna’s hands
back, mind, humming under task and sun
I catch out a shadow slouched
between the pebbled hack and scrape
my shape
though not the shape I’ve shaped
the poised reflection I summon each morning
when I focus, tilt here
while I diffuse there, there
and there
this shadow has an unashamedly slavic profile
chin tucked in for the task
petulant angle of hands and back even
as I rest the shovel
a daintiness caused by praying mantis wrists
who murmur of trouble
the economy of joints
a lumbar and sacrum who live together
but are no longer on speaking terms
my inheritance, along with a molar that grew
and fell three times
and last ribs
both sides
three times as long as they should be
from the sidelines of my eye
I catch this shadow out time and again
in each instant as it freezes
before becoming coy
I witness my grandmother
my grandfather
all the others before
in a collection of stones
to a singularity
Image and poetry Alison Boyd © 2013.

Tell me wotcha reckon

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This entry was posted on October 31, 2013 by in Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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