a bang like a door or a foot
knocking a chair
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.
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
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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