Alone in a Council Flat
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. 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.