Robin Hawke


Note
February 24, 2012, 2:32 PM
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The writing on the note was plain, a jumble of capitals and lower case. The paper was perforated, a jumble of lines and holes. The ink was smeared. And I read the words of a liar. I tried correlating them to experiences and memories without success. Staring at the truncated crossings of letters t and f, the open loops of letters g and p, I noticed the haste in the letters I, I, I, the fear I would interrupt him in the gaunt y, o, u. In my search for shreds of content, meaning disintegrated into picked bones on stone.

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Coq au Vin
February 10, 2012, 3:45 PM
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Choose firm, earthy-colored mushrooms. Discard those with spots or slimy gills. Brown everything in sizzling butter: floured chicken, pearl onions, mushrooms, some carrots, much garlic with a pinch of thyme. Be rash, use high heat to sear these flavors. My recipe departs from the traditional one—here—when everything caramelizes, gets crusty, pour wine in the pot. Submerge everything in wine. Add more. Open another bottle. Forget chicken stock; forget hoarding mushrooms until the last fifteen minutes of cooking; forget it all while there’s time to grab another romp through the woods. Let everything simmer while you stoke appetites.

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Love Letter
February 8, 2012, 2:43 PM
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I am missing, but not from your thoughts. Or yours from mine: I polish each of our dreams, impatient as ever to rub them into existence.

Today is one of those winter days when the sun can’t break the clouds. The sky glows like moonstone. It wouldn’t you know, if the sun went AWOL. Think of me; think of the sun. Clouds will scuttle off—break like eggshells; hot rays will wake bulbs in the ground; surrounding arms will banish those sad thoughts of yours. All I wait for is a strong wind to blow me home.

I keep, if missing, missing you.

Do not fold my jeans away. Do not fold my letters with tears.

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Daybreak
February 3, 2012, 8:56 PM
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My purse is on the chair, the cat is under the bed, the dog is on the couch, the stash of money is in the pot in the cupboard above the stove, the cell phone is charged on the bedside table. Oh, what am I forgetting? Car keys—make sure they’re in the purse. Phone numbers, yes, we’ll need those in case we lose our way, addresses and the GPS. Oh, food, food, food. I’ll grab chips. Water, we have milk. In case that is not the sun: An axe, do you think we’ll need an axe? Or a gun?

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What’s up?
January 27, 2012, 2:35 PM
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What’s up?

The sky. That’s a silly joke, get it?

My mom tells me I’m unique. Different than Jerry. He’s my exact twin brother. I don’t know if that’s a joke. I don’t see it. We are both left-handed. We look alike but I’ve something more—a special mole on my nostril. Mom says an angel forgot to wipe off his kiss. And then she kisses me on the same spot and tries to wipe it away.

Today I told her. This time she made me sad. I don’t want to be a dishwasher. I want to be a conductor. Like Jerry does.

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A Door in a Tree
January 23, 2012, 5:03 PM
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Folks expect a door in a tree to be tiny—designed for elf and sprite homebodies—and that humans must bend double to pass from world to world. This door was tall; all right, I crooked my neck to cross the threshold of my kingdom.  Inside, there was plenty of frothy Guinness, friends and darts. After a round of golf, I’d order a shandy for my daughter and we’d replay our game. Stolen hours became ritual, our weekly outing, celebrations of  birdies and fifteen foot sinkers. Then, tourists found our niche, sat on our worn benches, and shared pictures of a castle in Paris and a tower in England.

I looked for a piece of land with its own aged baobab. Found one in another country, up the coast. I apologized to it before we began the work of hollowing. It’s a regret I keep: The interior lacked that oxidized, caramel color; my girl flew abroad for a degree; my knees betrayed me on the links. The next time there was a whisper in my ear, it was a nurse with a cup of pills. Another pint, another round.

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Fear
January 16, 2012, 2:44 PM
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I’ve sifted through possibilities. Every day, they become less probable. If wishes were dragons, I’ve nurtured leather-hard eggs. One by one, the eggs rot. My desperation grows. I fuss. I turn. I inspect.

Mythical creatures will play in my back yard. They will be freakish creatures of sweet mercy, if only wishes come true.

 

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