Ants or Aunts (a nod to Mr Dahl)

I don’t know what to call this one. Suggestions gratefully received.

Colony (thanks Juliet)

Lying here in the thin London sun,

high on the scent of lime tree blossom,

I think of the smell of family gatherings,

of potted meat and alcohol and pastry and

flowers from the garden if it’s summer,

the high opiate smell of lilies.

The warm bovine scent of the kitchen curls through the house,

fingers its way under wallpaper into plaster,

through clothes into skin,

its hard back layer of rendered meat

made sweet with nutmeg.

A solid-girdled cohort of grandmothers and great aunts

moves in formation between pantry and kitchen and dining room.

Fussing.

But they were knowing women.

Women who knew how to knead dough to the softness of powdered cheeks,

how to embroider French knots and knit socks.

How to build a fire in a grate and tend

those fragile things which tumbled through generations, picking up speed.

How to let go of their youth.

I watched a procession of ants once.

A black lacquer line fetching the honeyed remains of

a dropped baklava.

A long way from here, in Greece, in a stench of diesel and road dust,

waiting in heat for a boat.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under oddbods, poems, poetry

3 responses to “Ants or Aunts (a nod to Mr Dahl)

  1. “those fragile things which tumbled through generations, picking up speed.” – genius. How about Colony? Jxx

  2. aaaaw, that is absolutely brilliant and it reminds me of my Gran who has been gone now for many years but her magnificent knitted socks remain as good as the day she created them on those fabulous round needles she had.
    She also had soft puffy cheeks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s