by Ian C SMith

Here, in the loft, we store them,
stuff we can’t be shot of, old books,
plastic swords, toy trucks with bent axles,
an exercise machine still gleaming,
that raffia basket unravelling,
all these shoes suggesting doomed victims
gone now to this higher place.

It could be a stage set, or setting
for a story to be peeled back,
an artful angle here, a revelation there.
It reminds me of a rural house I saw,
a wind-scoured abandoned shell,
the calendar, a dead crow, silence,
advertisements, crime on yellowed paper,
old-fashioned prices, a feeling like grief.

That chair with its spilled stuffing
seems to accuse, like a former friend,
sports gear strains towards an echo of Bravo.
Glimpses of worn down beauty lurk here,
trapped, like slights never taken back,
in corners, broken promises, unheard pleas.

I feel, absurdly, like creaking to my knees
before these presents of Christmases past,
all those shining plans, now this detritus,
to apologise, beg their forgiveness.

Ian C Smith's picture

Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in The Best Australian Poetry, Descant, Island, Magma, The Malahat Review, Southerly, & Westerly His latest book is Lost Language of the Heart, Ginninderra (Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.

Last updated June 04, 2011