Cutting The Edges


A new-hatched Sunday, early,
the neighbours still cocooned in chenille quilts.
Their striped pyjamas sheathe male and female
limbs lying parallel.
Barefoot in the wet grass I jump
into the bright, soft, blue expectant morning
like drifting in a naked balloon
bumping and shifting.

A clear, safe sphere.
Out on the edge a few silvereyes
from other suburbs, with nihilistic stares
but nothing more here within my concave
imaginary walls, grass felted, sealed by sky.

Succulents, gerberas, petunias with twirled hems
grafted roses, their big thorns shining
red like bloodied dogs’ teeth.
Cutting the edges, the shears make
a satisfactory, isolated clip, clip.
Couch runners disappear behind plant stems
like little backbones.

Our house stands square.
Its stucco walls rear.
The ridged cement driveway roars
to the garage doors.
All garden edges are brick.
My shears clip in a line, north, south
cutting the grass’s hair.
At the brick letterbox with its green metal door
I unlatch — three dead snails spewing foam,
a yellowed Road Ahead.

Now, next door a woman slushes out in slippers
steel curlers springing in her hair.
Clutching a house coat
she peers under her stair.
She will not see me in my hollow world.
She calls up, ‘No, nothing here.’
Across the road a man says firmly
‘No, dear, it’s not there.’
Front doors bang shut.
Floating again, I watch an Alsatian brush past
two Sunday papers in its mouth.

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