My grandfather's house

You speak

And I am reminded of that house,

The almonds, the dust and the sun.

The layered newspapers piled on mildewed chairs

Watched us come and go; during the slow conversation

We flitted away t o explore the dead grandmother's treasure,

Trinket-boxes for pillage.

In the sun on the western verandah

Sun-drenched, rain-bent tomes;

Lindsay nudes to ponder in the pages of Lone Hand.

Beyond the lavender bushes along white gravel paths,

The toolsheds leant among forgotten vines,

Almond shells, cowries beads and fifty useful keys

Strung on a rusted chain and hung up on the wall.

Above the sheds the charred trunks of the almond trees

Litter their leaves.

Far-off, through the heat,

The parents in the house talk to the grandfather.

Westerly, 1991