The Old House
The Old House
This tumble-down old house spoke to me
In the dark,
As I lay sleepless in my bed,
Listening to the silence.
Through the cracks in the windows and doors
Whistled the weeping of ghosts
Of generations of great-grandparents
And aunts and uncles
Who died in the bed where I lay.
Across the floor-boards
And up and down the stairs
The phantoms of white children played,
Their footsteps rattling the shattered panes.
Outside, a dog barked through the night
As a coach drew up beside the iron gate,
And the leaves whispered nervously,
Messengers to those that cannot see.
I shivered in my pale night-gown
As yellow photos and faded portraits of ancestors
Smiled thinly at me from the walls.
A door banged in the hall below
And the old grandfather clock struck midnight,
And something cold ran down my spine
As I tried to think of sunlight
And laughing faces of friends.
The silence ran around the room,
Shattering like broken glass
Each time my ears heard a noise
That didn’t exist.
Day dawned grey and wet,
As I looked round the purple room,
The pictures of deceased people,
The old house seemed quite ordinary.
I opened the heavy curtains,
And the nip in the air was friendly
When I went to bed again that night
I could feel all around me
The ghosts and phantoms of beings
Who died long ago..
Click here for “The Lover” (poem)