Sunday, December 6, 2009

Benita Kape: Linen Clouds


Behind me the house which has a life of its own. Perhaps young children lie abed. One may be reading, the very young sleeping, the father listening to the radio. Perhaps the father has directed the older of the children to attend to after dinner chores.


But I, the woman of the house with but a month until the next expected baby arrives in spring, am seated here on the veranda. I have left the busy day's activities behind me. I have lowered my tiny frame and my big rounded ball of a belly into a deep chair. I look into a row of trees in a park across the road and claim it to be a forest in my mind's eye.


But beyond my little forest a forest of children loom large; children who play in the kindergarten on the edge of the small park. I muse in the present, drift back to the future; the times when grandchildren took up the tea-towels after a family meal; argued over who would wash and who would dry and who among them might be put on roster for another evening. Now great-grandchildren have reached an age to take their turn in the ritual of washing and drying dishes as I go take a seat in a quite corner.


They joke that I have no mechanical apparatus to do away with such a boring chore. Funny how quickly they learned to flick tea-towels. Funny how it does not remain boring for long.


linen clouds

a child

and a kitten

entertain their

sleeping audience


by Benita Kape

Gisborne, New Zealand

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