(On reading the poem “Fridge” by Boris Slutsky after
someone dumped a fridge-freezer outside my door)
A block of a thing, dumped at my front door,
Chipped, white and broken, you threaten the stairway.
Someone’s idea of a joke, you are chilling,
an estranged metaphor for my present deep-freeze.
Someone’s idea of a threat, strange warning:
to have carried you up here at dead of night.
Of all types of menace an old freezer must be
the most suggestive of something sinister:
the Big Chill, the morgue, derelict, kaput;
a sliver of ice down my spine, in the heart.
You stand there, a reminder of all that’s not known,
your mystery much broader than who? why? or when?
The unavoidable truth, you are icon, are symbol
for all that remains of unknowable mystery.
You’re the latest life-lesson, my new lucky charm.
I greet you fridge-freezer, most notable teacher,
and thank those who brought you upto my front door:
the acceptance of all my fears rest within you.
I cannot deny you, defunct and defiant,
You stand there to welcome me home in the evening.
Your mystery grows like an Easter Island idol
To remind me each morning, there’s much I don’t know.
22-23 January 2011