the egg timers were hers:
a stickler for the perfect boiled egg,
she could break any shell, and know
if it hadn’t had three exact minutes.
that was her quirk, worse in hotels,
sending back, insisting on precision.
I remember one time,
in a Kathmandu guesthouse,
she returned half a dozen;
she never gave up.
everyone bought timers,
for Christmas and birthdays,
she owned thirty-five,
her age when she died.
she’s been up there five years,
some climbers say they spoke, offered help,
but she said she’d be fine; they’re liars.
on their ascent, she was just sitting there,
they must have known,
she’d run out of oxygen, and time,
they couldn’t waste theirs rescuing her,
they’ve different rules climbing Everest:
morality’s a burden; it gets left at base-camp.
as far as I know, I’m alone,
Dad’s a mystery; Mum wouldn’t tell,
Grandparents gone, now it’s just me,
I can’t have children,
it’s just one of those things.
but I want family,
blood not surrogates,
so I’m going for Mum,
I’ll bring her down; if that can’t be done,
I’ll send medics to her,
she’s young, fit and frozen,
her eggs must be OK
they have to be.
still, the hardest part is reaching her,
and the harvest. I’ll do what I have to:
raise money, learn the skills, climb,
however long it takes, I’ll get there
sooner or later,
we’re a very determined family.
from Frowned Sounds,
released October 7, 2018
Words and sounds by Helên Thomas
You will find dark, difficult, experimental music here + by way of a total contrast, some up tempo poetry for children + if
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