after Tom Roberts
Holding the ram in awkward embrace,
he comprehends gravity while watching
the shearers charge through their task.
He tells me a woman more exquisite, more exotic
than any of the luminous objects found in the zodiac,
will come into my life. Yasodhara, I ask? He stays
silent, turns to a farmer and tells him he’ll lose
legendary discovery by Sigismund Freud
(also known as Golden Sigi)
But wait, there’s more – as when the hummingbird
flies backwards for the hell of it, or
the odd flamingo’s pinkened up by snacking
on blue-green algae. Aeschylus, potted
Empty for years, the house can tell us nothing.
Even though it is a maisonette, ostensibly half of a pair.
The other half is normal, inhabited, has a real dog.
Rubbish gathers here, junk mail overfills the letterbox and droops when rain makes it sodden.
Surrounded by the countless dead
And restrained in illness to her bed
The hilltipped winds that seared her face
Made her young as they made her old
Rooms so familiar
they complete themselves in me –
this darkened hall where the glass cases,
The answer could only be yes. Or,
(as James would have it) it was a question,
the way she turned back to him
seemed to say, that deserved