Personal Best

Fran Graham of Pinjarra, WA

She sabcos the floor with the babies on it

sitting amongst the saucepan lids and cake tins.

She moves them round as if sweeping them up

they love the ride and the ruckus

as she slides them across the floor until

a wet patch puts the brakes on. 

Lids bang on pots as she

muscles her way through the chore.

It’s a happy tin can slum of a kitchen floor

the early prototype of a ball pit.

Soon they’ll go down for a sleep

when she can sit outside and roll

a ciggy, relax while hubby’s

at work greasing the Jesus cap

on the copter rotors at Hawkers then

drives home using the egg shell method

to survive the petrol shortage.

Later she’ll watch them sitting in the sandpit

like small loaves leavened by fresh air.

They are ripples under her skin

itchy and breathless for food

at the end of the day and

she’s almost unhinged with fatigue.

Her home is a tightly run ghetto of achievement.

She rings the bell at the end of another lap.

It’s not a record 

but like every other day

it’s a personal best.