It is lonely, breaks your heart,
for the quiet afternoon
to pause a moment in its stillness
as an airplane passes overhead
– the news reported on those
somewhere, elsewhere, distant –
or for a moving-truck’s ponderous engine
hauling several cardboard lives.
A neighbor you will never speak to
becomes engine noise
that will not fade
until, too suddenly to wonder – or
for bells to ring in a village church,
the sound bringing you nearly to tears.
As though each second
were large enough to hurt you,
or for the rumble of a running van
driven by faceless, unfound men
who came while you were out
and took apart your life:
television, handsets, jewellery
the little money you had saved;
who moved couches, dressers, bed
to reveal for your return
the years of grime collected underneath.
A store of bad dreams.
You walked through the emptied house,
smaller than you’d felt in years.
For weeks you slept in fear.
Even now you remember spying
strange tire-tracks on the driveway,
and for a moment not being able to understand
where they led.