Fragment #55 – 8 November 2014

When D learned that his daughter had disappeared with a young student, his first reaction was to open the letters he had sent his wife when they were both very young, and to drink, without pause, a water glass full of scotch.  In his letter to A he had cribbed some lines from an enigmatic poem from the mid 1860s which he had been studying at university.  The poem came from an anthology of bush poetry, poems written largely by middle-class women who had come to Australia from England with the belief that they would prosper in the new country, and instead had discovered that their lives were now consumed by hardship, toil, back-breaking labour, and the constant uncertainty of food supply and communication.  These poems were written by women who had sufficient education that the deprivation of farm life in an undeveloped nation was, they all felt, destructive to their souls and conducive to a life of intellectual deadness, and thus the great passions and adventures they had believe would happen in their lives instead now needed to occur in their verse.  From one poem, D took the title, from another the last two lines.  But it was from the first-mentioned poem that he borrowed the most, shifting gender where appropriate and slightly updating geography while leaving the rest of the poem intact.  It was somewhat hallucinatory in expression, and throughout, a very large cat with a red left eye and a green right eye, appeared and offered menacing prophecies in Latin, French, and Dutch, to the nameless protagonist.  Why D thought this would be a suitable poem from which to create a love missive, he could no longer remember, and as he finished his scotch glass, he wishes first that his daughter would contact him and let him know what was happening, and that also, with a bit of luck, she might perhaps find happiness when he himself had not.

* * *

The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website.  I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.


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