Pigeon holes

  • Posted on January 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm

He’s leaning from the window,
awkward, empties smoky lungs
withdraws into yellow light where
curtains are never drawn, and spare.

The elegant black lady never sees,
from her complicated kitchen whose
aromas might intrigue, across the
garden-patch five floors down.

Nor does she see the blue-lit room
twenty-four hours of daylight, green
through frosted glass and never a face
to person such evident herbal care.

Mum, close-cropped white, below,
two daughters who dance—her man
keeps his bicycle in the hall by the
post-it fridge, three floors up—or down.

Tabby patrols a kitchen-diner, left,
where a family of four revolves
in the same space I, alone, find crowded
missing loft, garden, conservatory, cat.

Between replaced windows, wood peels,
uncared, framing substitute curtains
condensation-stained, misfit, sad
suggestions of difficult, puzzling lives.

Assumptions lie behind each square,
portraits of those I see but never meet,
and I—new face in an old window—
perhaps ‘that strange lady on her own’.

In the end we all stop looking out,
we have come to carefully pretend
alone or cramped, that we are not
homing pigeons resting in our holes.

2014 © Andie Davidson


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