Yard

by Luke Otley

A white picket fence half painted,
an open own mixed paint pot
no label, tin, ringed grooves,
copper colour rust from drawn years
stored in garage – silent on the shelf,
thick brush erect,
handle pine with leaf-like curve
sturdy, left alone-
past the pot and paint
playing ukulele plunk notes
a hose gaggles against a drain
tumbling heartpulse, water
going somewhere – no one knows.

Suburban commotion-
barbecue hubbub,
sausages snap up at tongs,
onion pops, buckling on black hotplate,
smells float on the wind like sound,
there- the man of the house
Hawaiian shirt floral popping at the gut,
canvas drooped like a tent porch,
bottle of tasteless low booze lager to his lips,
laughing and darting a glance at his wife–
her head dipped lightly
to paper plate leftover collection
eyes raised to his
her husband – mind wandering,
remembering him younger
and life full curious,
the paint pot used only once,
mebbe twice,
white wash neutral room
for baby boy,
baby girl.