When the pedal
was pressed, the lid half-rose - then froze
as if taking a last look at the cupboards and the
cat dish. It yelped and tipped, half-swivelled, neck
twisting before snapping - fell unconscious to the floor,
bounced to a stop.
The phone howled
in alarm, stirred roughly from a nightmare sleep,
then purred, asthmatic, til I pressed the number nine.
The button stuck. I pressed it twice. It bleated
one angry warning flashed in its red eye before it slipped away,
cradled in my hand.
The room was silent
til the boiler groaned, one long, low, fearful grunt,
and then the cold descended like a shroud. The plaster
on the walls was ice against my palms, the catís fur snow
my fingertips, the floor-tiles frosty-smooth against my toes.
in the cat-dish froze.
When the switch is
my mind half-rises, tissue-frail, caught in an updraft, taking
a last look at the cupboards and the cat dish before falling
exhausted. Cracks. Unsplinted fractures. Breakages. The
creaks. The sheets are smooth as frost against my toes. The
rain down upon my head.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Louise Wilford would
be pleased to hear them.