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A N A T O K I S P E L L
He shovelled paddock shit for his keep
which she spread on lofted soil for her keep
and their keep was mattresses floor lain
above a woodwork workshop sawdust lain.
The rain sounded like it knew the place,
brittle cotton on the sanded sills,
the rain truly did know this place
hidden in the hills.
They read aloud chapters, chapter about,
deep into the night, a book about
she-lovers, something or other. Lay still
for each other’s voice, at ease, and still.
It meant a hell-load to them both.
How would you say? Not love. Friendhood.
Solid. Night narrative – them both
annealed for good.
Halfway through they made a pact
to finish later. Next day up and packed.
There wasn’t a lot more work,
and they were never going ‘to work’
which would work out okay. They caught
a lift out of the valley, then on.
Went their ways. An end that caught
in the throat. Felt wrong.
Good to their word, she lit the fire
he came around, sat by the fire
they finished off Haruki’s tale.
This friendship has no category.