Monday, January 6, 2014

Tuesday Poem - Snowflake by Anthony Lawrence


My mother kept a snowflake
in the freezer all winter.
Each time she opened the door
of the refrigerator
she would make a sound
like a Burmese kitten
being surprised by itself.
When I asked how she could tell
her snowflake from so many
crystals of ice, her smile
revealed the sapphires she'd had set
into her front teeth, and she said
'Mine has worn an intricate
indentation as though
hot lace had passed
between the peas and ice cream.'
I settled for that, as I knew how hard
she had to work to keep level.
At dinner I would pretend
to be a good son, and her smile
enameled the table
with points of dark blue light.

I was passing through Sydney last year and happened to be staying around
the corner from the Friend In Hand in Glebe where Puncher & Wattman were
launching a couple of books. One of them was Signal Flare by Anthony Lawrence.
Now this is a book that is stuffed full of wonderful poetry and the difficulty for me
was which one to choose. Anthony Lawrence just keeps on getting better and
 better. After much dithering I went with Snowflake (and not The Linesman, Owl,
Appellations,The Decision, Domestic Emergencies or Winging It) because I heard 
Anthony read Snowflake at the launch and it got under my skin.

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