Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Quick Word On... Next Door (A Poem)

next door

they're fighting next door,

the daughter and her mother.

in typical fashion i can't hear what they're saying,

as one fights to be heard by shrieking louder than the other.

but their window is just opposite mine and i see them,

silhouttes in frosted glass,

jumping and fist pounding like cartoon characters,

comically pacing.

the door opens,

then closes again,

then re-opens,

and more shouting is heard as it clicks back and forth,

each woman fighting the other,

i'm leaving

you're staying.

i need to get out.

you need to stay in.

and then there is some thumping,

or possibly slamming,

and the house is silent.

i suppose i should be relieved,

it's quiet again now,

i can get back to my work,


resume hearing only motors obliviously winding along the road.

but it's not as easy as that,

and people will say it's my 'overactive mind'

or my 'sick imagination'

but i can't help but hate the silence.

people who shout come to resolutions,

people who stop suddenly rarely do.

and i feel the stirring,

the image growing in the back of my mind,

that someone might have said one thing too many,

that one of the thumps was half heavy object and half soft skin,

and that somewhere in that house so foreign,

and yet so familiar,

lies someone on the wooden floorboards i can just see through the crack in the door.

not screaming,

not even moving,

and the other has fallen to the floor to cradle her head,

perhaps even wipe up the blood,

and is wondering,

in that terrible,

terrifying silence,

what have i done?

-Lyndon Riggall

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