Alone in a Council Flat


Photo by Tope A. Asokere from Pexels

The Curtains twitch.
An ambulance passes.
No siren. No need.
There’s a hush -
A breath
Held harder than a hiccup
As silence swells
Into the four corners of o’clock.

Through the letterbox
A whiff of kippers;
Of soup and salty socks, sink
Like a stain into embossed net curtains
And settle. 
A beat -
A tick of life –
A wave from a crackling stereo;
and the Corries pinch the space
Before the light-bulbs blink
And press the night like putty-
Into the lips of the garden

Behind the disinfected wheelie bin and the whittled bird box
Tomorrow waits.
For news and for open blinds,
For fresh pheasant, hung dead on a hook by the washing line,
And footsteps –
And an old man
Carrying a loaf of bread in a crumpled up carrier bag.

The curtains twitch.


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