The Weathercock

The iron weathervane needed new paint. Someone brought it down from the coach house roof—my father? braving that height, before he fell ill? (For me, the rooftop was the sky.) The cockerel perched on the lawn, and I scraped the flaking black from its north, south, east and west with a stiff wire brush, then daubed it with glistening enamel: scarlet beak and comb, gold feathers. I liked it there, left within reach, though it did no more than creak this way and that, bereft of the high winds that gave it true direction. Suddenly I see it’s me, stuck there, gormless, aloof, waiting for my father to haul things back.

Prose poem from Chromatic (UWA Publishing, 2017)

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