Nina Geraghty

I’m Not At Home

The winter rains have begun
in the drip-drip from the same old crack in the ceiling
Once pride kept disrepair at bay, deferred
now it’s the call to the Roof Man that’s endlessly postponed
for it’s only staunching the inevitable
These days even the rain defeats me
as it comes down brutal, hard, indifferent
washing away my home

The headlines slap me sideways
beating their message home regular as lamp posts
Rape. Murder. Dead Dumped Babies.
Over and over they deliver their blows
Banal abbreviations of yesterday’s lives
And the words follow me, chanting their grisly chorus
behind my back like tormenting schoolboy bullies
following me all the way home

And in the darkest hour of night
comes the sound of a breaking door
The splintering wood splicing me awake, I grope
and fumble in a drenched nightmare of slow
In the panic siren screams police arrive moving soundlessly,
blurred phantoms treading through the unplayed events
of what could have been rewinding in my brain
and wishing I hadn’t been at home

What is this? This fragile skin within
I long to call my home?
Evil has its foot in the door, edging in
the elements invade, the walls are crumbling stone.
Where is my refuge, where my escape
from this dark and hostile place?
I open the door to leave and unexpected, sunlight enters
standing at the threshold  – delivering this poem.

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