செவ்வாய், 27 டிசம்பர், 2016

My old bones creak along this same route ten, twenty times a day. It starts with me flickin' up too fast from the fancy electric recliner the kids all chipped in and got me, and it ends in the loo. Well, it usually does if I'm lucky, but I guess it's not my lucky day because halfway there I've gone arse up. Now I'm stuck, layin' here in the hallway flat as a tack, the weight of my body pressing on my damn bladder. Nothin' hurts, there's no pain at all but by god I can't find the strength to get up. To think I used to wrestle rams and now I'm here, 'bout to piss myself on this shitty wool carpet. With my face shoved into the stuff I can still smell the sheep on it, the sweat and skin of the animal. I move my head back, really arch my neck till it burns, and then I see her, my Margie. The photo's all brown with age, but she's still shinin', perched on a motorbike. She's lookin' down on me, one of her oversized pregnant dresses hitched up to her knees as she straddles the beast, showing me the curve of those calves.



I married her, the first woman who loved me, and if things were tense sometimes it's only 'cos I was sure she'd come to her senses one day. But ten kids is what happened, a couple of 'em made from sweat and hard liquor, the rest from Margie's sweet iced tea. She only put the stuff out to brew when she wanted me, my siren of the paddocks. I'd be in the doorway of our room, headin' out before dawn sliced everything through, and she'd say to me, maybe with one of the little ones tucked up next to her: “Iced tea'll be on today.” In a few hours it'd be ready, and so would my darlin', just enough sugar.



She put the tea outside to get strong in the sun, the lemons turnin' to sludge, the liquid goin' this delicious, ugly brown. Sometimes I was sure I could smell it all the way down by the shearing shed, or when I was screwin' round with the tractor - a smell so sweet at the edge of all the grease and the shit caught in the undercarriage. I'd come home for smoko no matter what I was up to, no matter what I tell ya, and I dunno how she did it so synchronised 'cos on a normal day it was pure chaos, but the young 'uns, they'd all be asleep, not a peep from 'em, and the rest of the brood would be at school. And she wanted me, by god she wanted me, those sweet iced tea mornings.



We started with a glass of it on the back porch. Her little pot plants were dotted all around, sproutin' colour no matter the time of year, thrivin' off bath water well-seasoned by a relay of grubby kids. We'd sit under the cover I built, the plastic one that amplified the first spots of a rain, sometimes sendin' the lot of us out in the middle of the night, faces pointed at the sky. We sat there and we'd cheers our glasses together. It'd be ten in the mornin' and the flies'd be nuzzlin' into our eyes, little buggers, and she'd drink her tea so quick. Too quick for me, 'cos I liked to sit there and look at her, taste that drink long and deep and just sit, knowin' something even sweeter was on its way.

We'd be talkin' about Tommy's spelling, or the problems her sister Mauve was havin' with cash flow, about a ewe I'd found by the dam, back leg all bent up, or one turned to fluff balls by a fox. Just chattin', the way it was with her and me, our lives squished together, so much in common, every little thing about her being a big thing for me, and vice versa. I might be mid-sentence, half my iced tea left and the rest of hers would go down the gullet. Her empty glass made this chime sound on the little wrought-iron table set out there, the ornate one that dug into ya bum - we couldn't get rid of it 'cos it'd belonged to her mother. The glass'd chime and it was all systems go. We'd keep talkin' the same stuff but quieter as we scraped those darned chairs from under us and headed inside. I closed the fly-scre

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சிகரம் 15 - ஆம்  ஆண்டு இலக்கிய போட்டிகள்  சிறுகதை / கவிதை / கட்டுரை  முதல் பரிசு ரூ 1000/ இரண்டாம் பரிசு 750/ மூன்றாம் பரிசு 500 படைப்...