March 15, 2012

Toast

Toast

Today I decided to make a piece of toast. I don’t know why. I woke up and looked up at the ceiling, and thought; sod the yoghurt, I’m going to have toast. There was something thrilling about the decision. It was like the time at school, when my friend and I decided to run behind the bike shed and share a cigarette. I lay there and imagined how I would take the slice, would it be one or two? And how I would place it, slowly, into the toaster. She came into my room, humming a tune. I lay there and said nothing. She drew back the curtains and picked out some clothes from my cupboard. I went through the motions of getting ready. All the time thinking about the toast. I answered her questions politely. I did not once let her guess my plan. She wheeled me into the kitchen. I saw the bowl of yoghurt on the table. The stainless steel spoon next to it. She pushed me into position in front of it. ‘You can leave me now’. I said. She looked surprised but left without a word. I waited a couple of seconds, before, with some difficulty, wheeling myself to the fridge. I had to use both hands to open the door. My left hand started to spasm, but I managed to fight against it. The loaf was on the middle shelf. I lifted my right hand slowly; the burning sensation started in my fingertips and spread across my hand as I lifted it. The higher I reached my arm, the quicker the pain spread. It was at my elbow by the time I had reached the shelf. I grabbed at the bread; the blaze was clawing its way across my shoulder. I let the loaf fall into my lap and my arm drop down by my side. After a few seconds rest I pressed the button and wheeled myself over to the toaster. I struggled to undo the plastic packet; my fingers were stiff and uncompromising. But after a minute I had a piece of bread clenched between them. I decided to just have the one piece. I reached over to the toaster, it spread faster this time, hot stings shooting down my arm, across my shoulder and over my back. I battled against it and hit the switch. I sat back breathlessly. I watched the coils inside the toaster glow as they warmed the bread. I imagined how delicious it would taste, warm and crispy. It shot up suddenly, golden brown and lightly steaming. The thought of having to reach over again exhausted me. But then I heard her in the next room and feared she might come in and try and take it out herself. I reached over, the pain was almost unbearable, and little drops of perspiration collected themselves around the nape of my neck. I dropped it into my lap and slumped against my chair. After a few seconds I looked down at it and thought; ‘This is the best bloody piece of toast I have ever seen’.


February 09, 2012

The Snowman


The Snowman

 

He was large, imposing

A tower of cold, a sandwich of snow

A blot on the coated landscape.



The melting leaning tower of Pisa

Jeered at me through coal-slit eyes

He sat fat, lazy, malice dripping.



Giggling children assembled him with care

Slowly, carefully, in fading light

They cemented head with torso

Wrapping a scarf around him

Doing up pebble buttons against the chill.



All you did was stare

Stare down your crooked cracked nose

You stretched out your thin black arms

And embraced your kingdom.



I had to destroy you, vanquish, conquer,

Do you concur?

No.

Frozen through,

You had to go.


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