Anointing

15 May 2017

Perhaps
when he came to the house
she said – Boy these two girls
up here growing wild
like grass.

And he would have answered
with some farming reference,
like Girl you don’t know
you have to pull out dem wild weed
in the bud.

Perhaps this was when
she invited him to be father.

In that head filled with frothing
water
left behind in the jar
from which wilting week-old
anthuriums have been lifted

“Father” was not a clean or singular thing.
Not the first time that word has been churned up
in a mind of mud—

How close female flesh to wet dirt, how
little muscle-heave
to cleave open the tender
core of them two yellow-heart
breadfruit
.

What she didn’t realise was
What she had done was
reached up and placed a crown on
his head.

But she wanted to make him
comfortable
She wanted
him to know
there was a place for him.

And he would bring into that house
tilting like a fishingboat
a type of steadying.

What she didn’t realise was
before him
the world had been a soft green thing
asleep in a shell.

But you cannot keep a man apart
who silvers dry evenings
with the glistening skin
of enormous cavalli.

True, she couldn’t know
the thing she was dealing with
the bullion-weight
of that word she had just pronounced
not breathless
but with two d’s sitting down
in the middle of it.

She couldn’t know what
he would do to
those two girls how he would use
the slick machine of his imagination
and the dark breadth of his wit.

She didn’t know that she had suddenly
made him
irretrievably rich.

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