September 2017

Back to Issue 2


By Alison Flett


It’s late.  Outside our window, shadows are hunting amongst the trees 

wiping out all their kindnesses, their gentle housing of small lives, 

the silver vibrations of their leaves in the wind. 


Night knits together, the trees blurring 

and blending till all we can see is the plain 

and purl of their trunks, ribbing the dark.


Finally there’s nothing but a stark square 

of black and ourselves reflected in it, the pale ghosts 

of our hands, drawing together as if in prayer, closing the curtains.



And now the inside noises: TV’s staccato static,

wi-fi rustling in the folds of our brain,

the microwave’s toneless baritone,

the drone of the vacuum’s empty vowels,

ready-meals crackling in manufactured ice.



The freezer door slams.  The fridge 

gives several loud judders and is 

silent.  We don’t see 

the light go out but we know it’s out.



It’s then we remember the pathways through the trees

                                                                            which must still be there, even though it‘s dark.

We can’t see them but we know they’re there

                                                                            and we know that small lives are moving back

and forth across them, 

       making small impressions

                                                     in the trampled earth

                   with their tiny 

padded feet, 

                                                                            their tiny 


                              clawed feet, 


the spindled




                                                                            of their







We look towards the window.  In a while we’ll go over there 

and rearrange the curtains.  We’ll part the soft


                                                                            folds and look out into the

            dark and when we turn away

                                                                  we’ll leave them open behind us


                                                                                  ready for the first light 

                                                                                                    of morning