Alone in a Council Flat

 

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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.

©EilidhGClark

This poem was published by Tell-Tale Magazine on 31st July 2017.