Thursday, October 23, 2008

Featured Poet: Sarah Frost

"I am 34 years old, and a single mother to a three year old boy. I work as an editor for E-Brief News in Durban. I have been writing poetry for the past fourteen years. I am a member of the Live Poets Society, which I have found very helpful in terms of inspiration and support. I have an MA in English Literature from UKZN. My thesis compared the poetry of Ingrid de Kok and Joan Metelerkamp, two South African women poets." Menage-a-trois The capsicum pot-plant holds its red fruit high as you bear it awkwardly in your hands, speaking of your wife, and how you owe her flowers. Carting my own star-jasmine tethered to a wooden stick and lacey-leaved dhania, to the car – we came separately – I feel the raspberry cheesecake we just shared at the cafĂ© above the nursery, sit in my stomach like woe. You wheel your car around and with a careful wave, drive off, leaving me, hot-faced, heavy – scrabbling to collect the coins that just fell out of my purse into the gravel in the gutter. Like a CD track stuck she plays out the old old song – ‘the girl at the window/ waited all day for her father to come home/ thought that if she flirted with him/ he might love her more.’ At the table beneath the spreading fig tree, I let you see my black bra-strap slip from behind my green-yoked dress. Felt your glance stroke my hair, as you told me about paying your bond (and hers). Your dessert fork glinted in the dappled light, itching to wound. My lipstick-smeared serviette lay crumpled on a side plate. Trading my beauty for the brief feeling of being seen is like letting myself be Sampson and you and your wife, Delilah. My strength, shorn, to a sorry pile of stones. Girl Once, I curled like a seahorse on my bedroom floor, writing nature poems in a secret book. Twenty-two years have passed since that shy child crafted her clear, careful script. Time, a numb wave, surged over me. I nearly drowned. But I swam up from the sea of loss. found myself, floating. Embryo I write. I make poems as my body makes babies. This knowledge roots itself in the womb of my grief, blindly growing past the fear of miscarriage past the longing for oblivion curling around the foetus of irreconcilable loss. The life-giving placenta of words.