Show houses

I am a gawking gumshoe, stalking
the roads in the pea souper, Sherlock Holmes
half-light of a vaporous January night peering
through the windows of those who
want to be peered at; who do not
close their curtains with a
brusque swish.

The young couple on the sofa watch
television; no other furnishings,
a new nest to be feathered
and lined then. Old ladies play cards around
a table; teenagers sullenly do homework; children
catapult themselves around a room. Women stand
vacantly, hold mugs of tea; climb stairs with
folded clothes; bend down to
pick up one last toy – exhausted.

I hope, some evening, to see a
bespectacled dog sit cross legged in a wingback chair
reading the newspaper, pulling on a pipe; or
two pious neighbours in flagrante on
the chaise lounge in the new conservatory. I will
cheer them on mutely, applaud them
silently while chomping at the bit to spill
the beans to ‘next door’ glued to
East Enders unaware of the soap bubbling to a
raunchy froth just over the wall.

Every front door guards its own
stirring libretto.

Berni Dwan