“He was quiet,
A bit of a loner.
He kept himself to himself.
We never had any trouble with him.
A devoted son.
A good neighbour”.

Then,
From behind picket fences
Bared like rows of white teeth,
And curtains secured with jerks and
Veiled with nets,
Their uncertainties will grow.
From their deckchairs splayed on lawns
Restrained by clipped spruce hedges,
And from magnolia stained rooms
With titanic televisions
That mumble through the night,
Someone will be bound to say:
“He was a bit of an odd fish”.

And then teacups will clatter into saucers,
As they recount, around
Mouthfuls of custard creams
(In tabloid detail)
How I painted the door,
Red.

© GB 2007

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