We couldn’t sleep; something somewhere
was rippling through us. Bands of sounds;
lights flashing outside in the dark, late.
So shifted the curtains, summer’s light cotton,
flecked with blue flashes. The windows, at least
had closed their ears. The whole road twitched
drapes, gaped. Lights, a crackle of noise:
police cars down the road, last house.
And tension growling in the night.
Mother, as always, reported back,
then Sleep, she said. School. But couldn’t keep secrets:
Two girls, she said. A man with a knife.
And relishing this – neighbour with neighbour:
‘Her parents, schoolteachers, are atheists.
I wonder who they’re praying to now!’
Woken that night to distrust adults,
to fear life. The scent of hawthorn, elder;
pepper of grass pollen. And adverts
that hummed romance, drifting through fields
Two girls. A man with a knife.
Thank you Michael for sharing this wonderful poem on the blog.