Saturday, December 8, 2007

Patricia Prime: BOMB CRATERS

Any day finds the children gingerly climbing the bombsites looking up at broken masonry and tangled metal, searching the rubble for treasure – a broken doll, comics, a Dinky car.

FORBIDDEN. Our parents warn us about playing in the craters where we find a child’s shoe still laced and shiny red.

Weeds sink their roots between the crumbling bricks. Rain water drips from broken architraves and spouting.

Winter: snow covers the improbable disarray of houses bombed and shattered, fronts of houses missing, wallpaper hanging in strips, ceilings fallen. This is the still life of empty rooms. A stage set. On a dresser a complete set of cups hung by their hooks. Six whole eggs in a bowl. An old person’s false teeth in a glass of water. A bicycle leaning against an inside wall.

We scratch our names and the date on walls of derelict houses once lived in by our friends, children like ourselves.

the creak
of wooden stairs
to the attic

by Patricia Prime
Auckland, New Zealand

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