Dance with me

When I do crazy things
You don’t have to know my reasons.
I could have lost my way,
Or, maybe I have found another,
Which you find hard to fathom.

When we were children
You wanted to be my friend
Because I saw things you wanted to see, but couldn’t.
So I would lead you, blind, but happy,
Through the realms of imagination.

You moved on, but I still live here:
It is no less appealing,
So dance with me, if you wish.

Window

At the window in my front room
I watched umbrellas go up the hill
struggling in furious autumn gale
most black, some red or comically transparent
pulled down upon a woman’s shoulders
to protect her new hairdo from the rain.

The Georgian bay window shielded me from rain.
I loved to be alone. That cold front room
with long net curtains wrapped around young shoulders
and the weather beating, shining or racing down the hill
was my castle; huge windows on a world transparent,
sheltered from the furious autumn gale.

Round I whirled, a leaf dancing in the gale,
moving faster and higher, inspired by the rain.
The net meant giant windows were transparent
only from the inside, so to a clunky sale room
gramophone weighted with pennies, I was me on that hill,
before the world could press upon my shoulders.

I smelled the musty net around my shoulders
and knew the world was old and furious, though its gale
and torrential outpouring never rested on our hill,
forming pools in parks where tourists pulled on rain-
coats and stirred coffee with plastic spoons, in a room
where an organ played and people’s smiles were transparent.

When my cousin came, we served homemade sweets on transparent
plates and put on a show. On young shoulders
responsibility for choreography and costume. Front room
filled with patient eyes, we would anxiously regale
our aunties, mums and Nanna with entertainment, rain
dancing in accord, outside, thunder clapping on the hill.

Of course, I grew up, and went out from the hill,
down into murky valleys, away from transparent
umbrellas, aunties and sticky sweets, out into rain
that seemed more inhospitable when it landed on shoulders
bent and bowed with the weight of life’s gale.
But part of me will always dance in that front room.

Meet me on the hill, put a scarf around my shoulders,
transparent rivulets in a furious autumn gale,
blessed by rain, with no umbrella, let us dance in my front room.

Fairy

Have you forgot the fairy child
its face a rose from Heaven
who danced upon your attic floor
with you when you were seven?

Have you forgot the world we made
from dust of fairy shoe?
I took you in with fairy ways –
you wondered what I knew.

Have you forgot your whispered wish
when you were shaped a child,
and I was something different?
the promises we smiled?

Another life undid our bond
and closed the door I made
betwixt the breath of butterflies
where fairy children played.

But in this altered time we live
I hold a space for you
and you’ll return in time, you will –
All fairy children do.

Essence

We race down river,
past crisp white tennis players:
two gloriously best friends,
eating oranges quartered
with a dangerous knife,
the juice squeezed
directly into our mouths.

Someone bakes potatoes
wrapped in tin foil
on a smoky open fire,
and we smell of charcoal,
fresh air and old perfume,
and wear broken dress jewellery
borrowed from our mothers.