UK/Australia: the weekends

June 8, 2012

The body memory of the old country
The listening out for cicadas on the really warm days
The shift of her nostrils searching vainly for eucalyptus
Reminding herself that the lush undergrowth isn’t a bushfire hazard…

Yearning for the even footpaths, the wide bitumen of home and childhood
The suck of the oscillating fan as you sit on the scratchy blue sofa
Ice cream in your lemonade
The Australian Open transfixing you at the other end of the room
Gran’s talc-powdered arms and gnarled hands a comfort

Thighs sticking to the backseat leather of the Holden
Long drives seawards, the adults eager for a thermos flask of tea, you for cordial
The one-piece bathers worn so proudly
The lightening of your hair that your Pa called ‘honey blonde’
Walks out along long piers to peer carefully over the edge, gazing at the deep green sea below—
All that mystery and danger almost close enough to grasp
That endless bronze flatness of sand
The anticipation of a wave travelling right up to you
That shimmering expanse
Longed for, dreamed of

Natasha is an editor and writer; born in Melbourne, now living in London. She is also a chocoholic.

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