47 ALISON STREET – 1994 – John Bartlett

‘Strata Title — only two left’
is what remains of number 47
Alison Street where I still
put my arm round grandma’s neck
aged seven, in the front garden

Machines of demolition
scrape all away,
yet love has soaked this earth
and Eulalie with plaited hair
bends over her students’
piano-ed hands
to the tik-tok of the metronome

The pungent fruity smell
of pelargonium still
fills the air
and despite brand new strata titles
I watch Celeste in
wedding ivory satin
step light of foot
into Alison street in 1938.

 

Author’s note: 47 Alison St, Glenelg was my grandmother’s home.