Shock & Awe

My grandmother slept with her head
on the kitchen table & spent her days
gargoyle vigilant by the front door. I
love her but did not cry at her funeral.

My mother filled my head with stories
about her own childhood of corporal
punishment & emotional violence,
torture of which this tuttering old dear
did not seem capable; & suspicious

I became when she encouraged my
disobedience.

When Delilah died in the fan belt of a
tractor gran’s cataracts obscured both
the carnage & her giving a damn.

When Frootloop came limping in from
a cane fire, Golden Retriever ears
burned to jerky she shuddered &
turned away from his cries, back to
the smoke & the crows circling for
snakes.

. . . 
© Brentley Frazer 2016
from Aboriginal to Nowhere: new poems 2016 (HeadworX, NZ)