Listening To Frost
Some nights I wake not knowing why I am.
Listening to frost crack the tin roof, stickle windows
with white lace, feeling untucked as these sheets,
I wonder what battered god wanders the hollow
hours thumbing pages smudgy with crossings out;
so many mournings.
But here and now, there’s the 3am kettle steaming,
a china cup cheerful with peaches and plums,
slopped coffee burning my hand a little,
and the thought of really dying seems a fable
writ in wand light and rune.
Raising my eyes, I ask that when I fail and
fall as it seems I must, you dear friend, will home
my Siamese, and gardener that you are, dig
in the green manure, pick early peas, water
winter beetroot before the purple storms.
Coffee cools half drunk, the cat blanketed lump,
mrrs, stretches a chocolate paw, trusts his waking,
and I marvel that with years crowding behind
like impatient children in a doorway,
I have never paused to wonder the truth of skin
as chrysalis, that butterfly moment.
A half moon cuts in and out of clouds.
A car door clunks.
A couple laughing.
Jan Napier is a Western Australian poet. Her work has been featured in journals and anthologies
both in Australia, and overseas. Jan’s poem Turned On won the Creatrix prize for Poetry in 2014,
and her first collection, Thylacine was launched in 2015.