Outline

Issue TwoPoetry

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By Vashti Farrer

 

On the corner stood a house. Unloved,

its weathered weatherboard. But now

a wire fence surrounds the lot.

No planks or window frames. No door

to enter. All signs of living, dead.

 

Where once the sound of children filled

the yard. Or played indoors from rain,

the mother shouting, all in vain.

‘Stop that noise, you’ll wake the baby!’

 

In nearby streets stand houses; twos

and threes, their storeys telling tales

of birth and death a hundred years

ago or more. Diphtheria

and measles, Whooping Cough and Scarlet

Fever. Spanish Flu, the dreaded

Smallpox. Typhoid Fever, too.

 

Now, all that’s left of one small cottage –

the outline of a roof on next door’s wall.

 

Image by Paz Arando