what’s that
i’m awake
A bang like a door or a foot
Knocking a chair
who’s there

Tense i lie in my bed my face
Stretching out on the black air
My ears strain……a creak this time
Like a cat on the stair – but we have no cat
If the door-handle turned and a….
Shape came in…..darkness
Clutches at my startled hair
Spiders walk my skin
would i dare
To go for it with my fists – my fists
Clench doped with sweat
would i scream
Faint or lie there staring
My eyes pushing out in jets of fear
Waiting for what – what would it do

A short nipped sound from the earwig night
Drops in my ear
i sit up
Pinching my breath – was it by the door
Or the window – i can’t be sure
I wait for the next sound for the
Blade of the knife
i become aware
Of the ticking clock…and my father’s
Heavy breathing in the next room
The curtain moves and a faint light
Like a living thing creeps on the bed
Something – a twig – scratches on the pane
A car changes gear on a nearby hill
There is a creak in the house again
A door rattles in a hidden wind – an owl’s cry
Dogs barking – even a distant train – all
Friendly and easy to explain
i relax
And yawn get out and stand by the window
Looking out on the soft outlines of houses
Silent lawns making my own peace with night

When i return to bed at last (all
Tension gone) birds are standing
On the treetops bringing in the dawn

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