It Was The Hair

March 28, 2018

He did look a bit like a council worker, that large 4WD, full-gloss and white,

intent in expression there in the driver’s seat, clipboard an imagined accessory.

 

I’d scoped him already, sitting, as I pulled into a squash of spilled potting mix

strewn in the muddy clay beneath a silver wattle, not flowering this time of year.

 

The river was a cleaned-up rush of new water over sedge-grass, brief days only

since the rain stopped, and I wanted the lush grass from the bank, ripped by hand,

 

Stuffed in bags to feed the animals. But flaying around, I couldn’t get a grip, feeling

a bit stupid and clumsy with the viney tough rhizomes, resistant, unwieldy, and mud

 

In the bag, on my hands and clothes, walking around for a better grip, maybe further

over here, and what’s he looking at? found myself confronted, suddenly staring

 

At collapsed grotesque bones of an animal carcass, with all the obvious possibilities

running through my mind. A girl? No, sacrum and hips are too narrow. Large dog

 

Or a pig maybe, or a small cow, with all that thick hair? He’s coming over to me,

hunching his tallness to my diminution, stands beside me in the African grass:

 

‘Two girls were here, before. Doing the same thing. As you.’ Also getting grass? 

An unspoken assent. So what do I think? Do I suppose? Well no I don’t

 

know, I have to leave actually, I’m afraid of contagion too, pondering who’s spread

this stuff around in the grass, I can’t feed it to my animals now… ‘There’s more

 

Here’. He shows me badly decomposed bodies slumped, slimy after heavy rain,

large bones without flesh, and the thick mats of hair, skieved off, shaved, not fixed

 

To leather. I finally settle on a Shetland pony, saddest aspect the clean saw lines

through hind leg bones, not far beneath narrow hips of a four-leg standing grazer,

 

Just too old for the cold winter, sidestepping thoughts of a horror kill, only some lazy

farmer, with nowhere to dispose of a carcass. But why a Shetland? It was the hair. 

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