sarah van lamsweerde



We dig out the snow. We don’t have a fire or a flashlight. It’s dark and cold and we wear big warm duvet parkas of bright colours. My friend is smiling and we whisper together. She says, “I knew you would do it” and then we laugh again. We scuffle about in our cylindrical underground igloo. We see the stars and eat bread with our gloves on. We are on the lookout.

It’s possible to walk circles in the igloo and we do until the walls get higher and higher. We fall over each other on the ground and laugh some more. Outside the night is dark; the snowy plains glide out into the woods. We sit down and talk around the fire. The light reflects on the round icy walls and makes me dizzy. Melted snow drips off the thick pine branches onto the black fur of the animal waiting. We could be in our hole forever.      

The animal walks towards us. Soon, somebody will come and tell us what to do.
We are completely hidden from the houses that lie beyond the hill. Telephone cables above our heads connect the poles together, up and down the hills, towards the village. No one can hear us. We walk slowly behind each other, around the fire. We look at each other’s shiny backs. We wonder how the other feels now.








melbourne, september 2006