March 12, 2008

On waking I think of death, or rather decay—my hands
are violently folded in towards my wrists, they like to bend
that way, a fox curled up in the snow, the flesh covering

my veins bunched up into ridges. I imagine the joints—
a door flung the wrong way, tendons stretched too far and fraying,
and apologise, straighten them out, hoping these small kindnesses

might pay one day, remembering to keep my back hoisted straight,
to take my vitamins… and my body tries its best, washing away
the broken bits, spitting out the waste, but nevertheless

pieces are breaking off my bones, muscles are slackening like perished
elastic bands, skin is crinkling like a peach too long in the bowl.
A million microscopic deaths a second. I straighten out

my wrists, knowing tomorrow morning I’ll do the same,
hoping I’ll be lucky enough to wear like a leather sofa, softening
over time, keeping hold of my creases, my old frame bending

and cracking in places. Lucky enough not to be stopped
by a bang in my chest, felled by a terrible blooming of cells
in my breast. Lucky enough to feel the years in my wrists.

by Fiona Robyn

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Categories: Nature in the Cracks Tags:
  1. March 12, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Wondrous. The images (the fox curled up in the snow – unforgettable). The intricate rhythms. The tone kind of reminds me of TS Eliot. But somehow entirely female, long before you get to the breast.

  2. March 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I love the slow build, first of the little deaths, then the turn to lucky. Very fine!

  3. March 13, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Wonderfully moving and strong. I listened to the recording after reading the poem and was surprised at the unexpected lightness and airiness of the voice, giving yet another dimension to the written words.

  4. Ron
    March 13, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Beautifully cadenced poem, Fiona. I’ll look for more of your work.

  5. March 14, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Thanks all – and three cheers for qarrtsiluni ; )
    (esp. Dave and Beth, and Brent and Ken for choosing Lucky!)

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