The Everyday Terrace

Today is International Day of Peace (21 September)

Sometimes we think of a far away war when we think of peace but in some everyday homes, in our everyday streets, in the house next door there is no peace.

The Everyday Terrace

Peace, perfect peace

He sings the hymn
Into the darkness,
Into the silence in his head.

The heavy footsteps stop, then retreat
Passed the broken bedroom door,
The splinters of wood,
The hangnail hinges,
The angry hole in the plasterboard,
At the top of the stairs,
That’s been there for weeks,
Months, a year?
He should know
But he can’t remember
Can’t?
Won’t?

Peace, perfect peace

There’s a footprint on the sitting room door,
Oxford, leather,
More toe than heel,
Set against the painted wood,
Black and furious
And broken glass where the door swung
Hitting a vase.
He can hear it crunch,
Grind,
On the wooden floor
As the footsteps stop
He braces himself

Peace, perfect peace

Keys are gathered
And the steps advance towards the kitchen.
There’s a muffled sound
Not the sting of a slap
A kick?
A kick.
The back door opens on a rasp
And the footsteps fade
To the sound of quiet sobbing and bruises
A mother’s hopelessness
But he can’t move
Can’t.

Peace, perfect peace

A car engine idles then moves off at speed,
Back to the office,
Leaving heated rubber
Outside the everyday terrace
With the red front door
And the broken boy in the wardrobe.

Copyright ©RMC September 2018

Image: Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

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