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Sport 42: 2014

Tom Weston — from Crossing Over

page 185

Tom Weston

from Crossing Over

Grief was a drought.
I soaked up the rattle of grief’s many voices.

I wrung out my cloth of voices.
The tears, as they fell, made the desert bloom again.

Grief was a garden under green trees
with a beggar, her child and the child’s dog snivelling

for coins. Grief got through more reliably
than the weather.

Roads partition the earth,
fractures down which grief can slip

not so easily denied or lost.
Grief is three colours left behind in the hills.

It is forever sneaking up on me.
Grief is this persistent shadow I cast on snow.

Grief, I said, I know you’ll get me in the end.
But I was tricking. page 186

Grief did jaunty
(a clumsy jaunty) when it thought itself alone.

That’s grief, I thought,
always inconsistent, always up to no good.

Then the snows came.
I stole grief’s scarlet heart and laid it out.

Grief all limp.
Grief knew it was a species of forgiveness.

Somewhere to the south I shoved grief away
under clouds and the ragged snow that summer leaves.

Grief would not let go.
It made a determined case for itself in the luggage.

Surprising, because grief can be a reluctant tourist.
It travels when it has to, no more or less.

Grief is serious business.
It eschews flavour and the full glass of evening. page 187

Grief held on for a while,
heading north and then a more determined west.

Grief equivocated over Asia.
It was fearful of snow, and the strange markings

humans make, their need
to rule the earth in whip-straight lines.

Grief was obedience.
Grief, though a shadow, did not tolerate other shadows.

The weather got involved.
From nowhere, wisps, and solid bulging clouds.

We hid in them.
Grief knew a cheap shot, knew that Casablanca

was off the radar.
Grief was given a choice: hide them or ride them.

Only the puffed-up shadows
of clouds sneaking along the ground, nothing else. page 188

Grief broke up in static.
It was lost in the seventh dimension.

The land was so big it never got there.
West of Moscow, by Minsk, grief demanded action.

Grief more than manic.
Time out of joint and out of breath.

Grief was a big sissy.
There was no room for it at thirty thousand feet.

Embarrassment and ennui.
Empathy, said grief, is a drawer of blunt knives.

You gotta sharpen up.
Grief is a kitchen plunged in darkness.

Grief embraced ennui.
I am bored with this constant burn of the senses.

Stretching out, grief knew that provocation was
a dangerous flambé. page 189

Grief now flesh and blood,
the anthropomorphic son of heaven.

Grief thus delivered.
I had no time for its mystification.

Time to go, I said.
While grief sulked I turned the other cheek.

It was a quick run home.
Grief was left gasping at the impudence of it.

Grief at large.
Liberated from having to give a damn.

A convoy of trucks,
dust billowing up from the desert.

Grief in retreat but
disputing those who claimed the day.

I’ll return, said grief.
Hope was seen crossing over.