The pianist knows about knuckles.
He knows about stones, about pebbles.
He knows how to carry his bulk,
how to move across shingle
as if nothing could buckle
his tread. Rings glint
on three fingers;
enough to stop questions
or chip a tooth.
The pianist’s suit is sharp,
between charcoal and slate.
He will not wear a tie.
Against the sunrise or the sunset
his buzz cut feigns a halo;
dies back to salty bristles.
You would not disturb him at his pint.
And when he sits at the piano
he knows about hush, about seashells;
he knows how to halt the tide,
persuade the oceans to listen.
(first published in Orbis issue 156)
One day you will find
her handbag in the woodshed
three potatoes in a bedroom drawer
milk in the coffee grinder
the uncharged mobile on a music stand
the axe still planted
in the chopping block
making perfect sense of it all.
Hilaire has published short stories and poetry in British and Australian magazines and several anthologies. Triptych Poets: Issue One (Blemish Books, Australia, 2010) featured a selection of her poems. Her novel Hearts on Ice was published by Serpent’s Tail in 2000.