Saturday, March 05, 2011


Last week the ground cracked up
underneath our feet.
I haven't seen my little cat since.

Tonight two pictures
and an ornament fell over.
On Facebook they said it was a 4.8.
That's about what we thought too.

I'll shake you till your teeth rattle
my mother used to say.
Last week my teeth rattled,
and fell out on the floor.

My fridge door flew open
and gherkins, eggs, and beer
smashed onto the floor
mixing with sugar
that slid off the microwave
and the five crystal glasses,
three crystal bowls, and two
novelty teapots
that burst out of the china cabinet.
A sharp, bitter cake
combining on my kitchen floor.

A painted, plaster doll
my mother left to me, and the glass
from the front of her picture
lie like shattered teeth
on the lounge room carpet.

Every night and every morning
when I put my lenses in
or take them out,
I remember my optometrist -

A dapper man in a grey suit
with silver hair and lively blue eyes.

He must have been helping out in that church
to have been there on a Tuesday at 12.51-
probably gave up his lunch hour.

Another sleepless, sweaty night
full of dreams of quakes
and waking to shakes,
till I'm no longer sure
whether I dream or wake.

The EQC sent me a form
two weeks after I lodged my claim,
on which to list my damaged contents.
It has twelve lines. Lol.

The 'Advice to Claimant'
tells me I should keep or photograph
all of the damaged items I'm claiming for.

And I was so pleased
that at least the rubbish
had still been collected
the week after the earthquake.
Our bins were overflowing.

At least that's one service
that's up and running again,
I'd thought.