January drenches the brow with sweat
Heat bounces off hard kitchen surfaces
Cut ripe apricots
lie piled in the jam pan, smothered in sugar.
Their aroma balloons
as the stove hot plate heats the pan base.
She walks heavily between sink and bench,
her loose dress damp.
Jam bubbles and ABC radio babbles.
Eyes focused on this step,
mind planning the next
Jam jars sterilized refract routine images
Carefully measured paces,
slowed by sluggish air,
complete the task.
She rests with cupped steaming tea,
sits at the disheveled table
sightlessly stares through the window.
The day is white with summer heat,
corrugated iron reflects glare.
The dog is slumped in shade.
Now, the jam pan,
filled with water,
soaks under the tap of the rainwater tank.
Bees hum lazily around its residue sweetness,
drowned bull ants float on water’s surface.
Filled jam jars line the pantry shelves,
The kitchen is empty, detritus of her labour lolls.
And still the heat persists.
are pages in a journal,
primary sources of the past
which frame the present.