dash
Ice-house   
 
                                 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 furiously;
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 against
my fingertips, the floor-tiles frosty-smooth against my toes. The water
in the cat-dish froze.
 
                                    When the switch is pressed,
my mind half-rises, tissue-frail, caught in an updraft, taking
a last look at the cupboards and the cat dish before falling back,
exhausted. Cracks. Unsplinted fractures. Breakages. The ice-house
creaks. The sheets are smooth as frost against my toes. The stealthy blows
rain down upon my head.
 
Louise Wilford

If you have any thoughts on this poem, 
Louise Wilford would be pleased to hear them.


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