Friday, December 2, 2011

Sunday afternoon at two o’clock – Janet Frame

December is Janet Frame Month

Sunday afternoon at two o’clock – Janet Frame

Downstairs a sweeping broom goes knock-knock-knock
in the corners getting rid of last week’s dust.
The weather hasn’t decided to rain or shine.
Downstairs the washing is hung out, brought in, hung out
again on the clothesline.

Having been to church the people are good, quiet,
with sober stops a the end of their cold Dunedin noses,
with polite old-fashioned sentences like Pass the Cruet,
and, later, attentive glorying in each other’s roses.

The wind combs the sea gulls, like dandruff, out of the sky.
They settle, flaked small, on stone shoulder and steeple,
a city coastal infection without remedy.
Their scattered sea-hungry flocks disturb the good people.

Long past is Sunday dinner and its begpardons.
Cars start in the street. The ice-cream shop is open.
The brass band gets ready to play in the Botanical Gardens.
The beach, the pictures, the stock-car racing tracks beckon.

Seizing time from the University clock, the wind
suddenly cannot carry its burden of chiming sound.
The waves ride in, tumultuous, breaking gustily out of tune,
two o’clock on Sunday afternoon.

I found these poems in an old poetry anthology from school. Unfortunately there isn't a reference for where they originally came from.

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