Monday, February 16, 2009

Melting Voices by George Anderson

Melting Voices
by George Anderson

Last winter in Thedbo
We built a snow fort
Out the back of our ski chalet
The sky white cart wheeling flakes

The fort was made from blocks of snow
Crudely pressed together by
Wooden clamps & sealed by
Small buckets of icy water

The making of the roof was trickier-
We use a sheet of chipboard and
Pile it high with fresh snow & then
Sit & talk & laugh in the quiet ministry of night.

One day, it is so cold in the snow fort that
As we talk our words seem to
Freeze. Our lips moving but mute.
The conversation suspended above us like

speech bubbles

on the frozen tongues

of the ceiling

* *

In late season we return
for one last snowboard
& in the morning I stroll outside with a hot piece of toast.
The sky a brilliant sapphire blue, the garden bursting with tiny golden flowers.
The old snow fort slowly dissolving in the silent intensity of the sun

Suddenly, there is a quick snatch of words-

‘It’s really cold in here!’

‘We should’ve brought a flashlight!’

‘Pass the blanket, will yeah?’

* *

Soon in the unusually warm morning
There is a wild hubbub of voices
First gently sizzling and then erupting,
Exploding out like popcorn
Voices which had collected like frozen pellets
in the snow fort throughout the winter
and now rattling in a din of conversation
breaking free-

POP! What’s for dinner? POP! Got any more chips? POP! This sandwich is frozen. POP! What time you wanna go inside? POP! What’s on TV? POP! I can’t feel my feet. POP! Whose crazy idea was this? POP!…POP!…POP!

Author bio:

George Anderson grew up in Montreal and now lives in North Wollongong, New South Wales. His latest collections of poetry are ‘Dancing On Thin Ice’ published by erbacce-press (2008, UK) and ‘Walking On Water’ Perspicacious Press (2008, Australia).

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