Apricot Morning – 1933

The flies start early. Bright beams divide
green shadows under vined verandah eaves.
An optimistic house with doors stopped wide —
failed invitations to the tepid breeze
a short dawn brings. Thin, dust-flecked sunshafts weave
and widen as the lightening day receives
merged fragrances that evening leaves beside
warm wisps of morning in this mixing hour.

Fumes the lighting plant exhaled last night
still haunt the coir matting. From the hearths,
waxed perilous late yesterday, the bright,
knurled fireguards breathe Brasso. Kindling sparks
staccato in the steel-knobbed stove, its dark,
fresh-leaded doors perspiring polish. Past
grey, half-drawn blinds white January light
seeps heat beneath fringed, blinkered windows now.

A screen of steam from eggs and oatmeal runs
around a ring of voices. Gathering time
for pipes, dogs, sweat-wrecked hats and crib-box hung
where water bags, hemp scented, leak in line.
Soon work will stir on drying greens behind
sagged cutting-sheds where apricots combine
the faintly sulphured flavour of the sun
and colours that long, glazing days endow.

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