The Wax Conspiracy

Mathless fractions with olive wings

Happened on a sunny breakfast. Glass of apple juice freshly hand-squeezed and set to the right of the plate. Itself crackling with the skin of oats, sinking, not swimming. Fine crumbs of toast holding on to the slice, ready to fall off and scatter across the kitchen top. Pop goes the timer. Pop goes the head of the little bird no more.

"Let you out of your cubbie station to play," he chides chidingly to the child. "To play. Only to play. Not this. Not this at all."

The little boy's lip twitches, holding back tears. Another round perhaps? But perhaps another round too many. Bruises along the neckline raw and red from discipline. A stereoscopic reaction to the truth of finding a balance between merely quiet and fatally shaken.

dead birds are stone cold
without a leg to stand on

"But it was so loud," the boy pleads, a quiver on the left and the crinkle of the toast breaks the pregnancy of the morning. He's learnt well he has.

He has hope. But never mind that.

Hope doesn't feed you with anything more than too distant dreams.

He has a learned stillness, a daguerreotype patience. Once we understand it, if we try and change its motion, it's exposed. And no longer recognisable.

"I'm sorry," he says. "I'm really sorry. I only wanted to turn it off. Play with it after breakfast."

He looks up.

"Can I have some breakfast?"


Every day is a new lesson.

Ethan Switch

Written on Monday, 15 March 2010

The Wax Conspiracy


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