Friday, October 22, 2010

Anne Stewart oor Antjie Krog


There is no bread in the house
Anne Stewart

Head full of Antjie Krog after reading
and reading without breakfast, suddenly
I’m hungrier than I’ve ever been, suddenly my head
is a hive of returning bees, an aria, a bulging larder filled
with everything that I might reach for;
the bees are shouting for, for tiger loaf cut thickly
and spread thickly with butter and honey or dripping egg yolk,
a mound of ripened brie, but I know
here in this house today there is no bread,
there is only compromise and cereal which,
if I must eat, is what I must eat – but still
the frantic opera of the bees crowding loaded
into the hive, I reach for the big dinner plate,
perfect for cutting on, and the broad flat knife
that feels good in the hand, and I reach into
the small bread bin for the big box of cereal.
                                                                 My hands
are empty, confused, breadless.
They stand back from each other
and stare and when they identify the problem, recognise
the expanse of wanting, they whisper
to each other, unpleasant things about me, about
why I do not fill the house with it, hustle the thrill
of fresh-baked bread into every room, reach and take it
whenever I want to. They don’t talk about you.