karung guni daughter
She seems to have inherited my hoarding habits,
squirrels away everything bestowed: fast food toys,
birthday cards, pencil cases, pins. Turns feral
when I suggest that scraps of hastily scribbled
cat cartoons might be better off recycled. If a fly
were to expire in her tea, she’d save it in a jar
(next to the hapless grasshopper, the bee)
never mind the crumbling crayon portraits, paper art.
This is a battle I cannot win, not with my roomful
of shelves stacked with books, files, notes from 1986
propping up the crowded writing bureau: the jetsam
of a life at sea with words, salvaging from ink and page
a kind of driftwood shape, flotation. How else to keep track
of where you’ve been? As if I’m even clear what keeps
or what is worth keeping. Already the precinct trees
are being cut down. A wave of prefab hoarding
has scrubbed the next street clean of flagging skylines.
So let her cherish a little of what is less than recent.
Let her favour the crack in her favourite mug, just below
the lip, the stains and stretch-tears in her purple sark,
her bobbing buoy of uncombed hair, her deadpan voice
when she hands me an old, used envelope festooned
with faded stickers, tells me to hold it forever.
04 April 2014 00:35 hours