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Centre of the House II

February 25, 2015

This week I revisited the poemcrazy exercise ‘the centre of the house’ with my new Unlocking the Book in You students. 

“Shut your eyes and fall back. Enter your childhood house and wander through. Where do you find yourself wanting to go? What seems like the centre of the house? … Include smells, sounds and comparisons. What do you hear people saying? 

At the bottom of our garden is  a chook-run, a strip of dirt with a corrugated iron shed at one end. Every morning before school, my mother and I take an ice-cream container full of oats down there and scatter them on the ground. On the way I like to eat handfuls of them, the dry flakes mixing with my saliva and turning to porridge in my mouth. The dewy grass sparkles in the sunlight and soaks the hem of my nightie.

We tiptoe into the chook-shed and gently slide our hands under the chickens, who cluck sleepily as we remove their eggs. Back at the house, my mother boils them for me for breakfast. My father has already long since left for work, gliding silently away on his bicycle while we were still sleeping.

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