Home Abandoned

Withered flakes of dried skin nestle under the bed,

Far away from any eyes that would behold,

Something, anything that may qualify them,

The wooden floor, dark brown and scratched, stretches,

Cracked and pale, towards the edges of a near empty room,

The paint on the wall aged and no longer what it once was,

Wasted from its original definition, changed, faded,

There’s no mattress on the steel bed, its skeletal frame,

Looking like a bizarre spider’s web hardened in time,

From time, of time, stuck in nowhere’s memory,

Loose hairs, frizzy and mouldy, mingle with the dust,

Becoming one dank jumble in the dark corner of a cupboard,

A tall antique cupboard, shameful in its false pride,

Once the vanity of a lowly carpenter, a husband who laboured,

A single coat hanger still hangs, still with a purpose,

Holding an old green coat, perhaps forgotten, perhaps…

The photo of a face in the inner right breast pocket,

 Betrays the truth, knows something, a blank downward stare,

Emptiness, the room echoes stillness, the silence mocking,

Like the mirror hanging crookedly on the wall,

Reflecting in on itself and the room, but revealing what?

The sallow ceiling sags, dark stains like bruised eyes,

Signs of the tears that have fallen still visible,

Between the frayed edges between wall and ceiling,

Brackish tears squeezed through wrinkled stiff eyelids,

The water pipes still trickle – bleed – although the flow long died,

A lone man’s size eleven shoe lies on its side like a capsized boat,

As if an invisible foot were still in it, the owner laying infinitely asleep,

A door on rusty hinges, with a broken lock… key still inside?

The sole window to the room – closed – let’s in weak light,

Through four misty window panes, filthy on both sides,

Specks of something unflattering, smudges, more dust,

Moss on the sill, even on the inside, where a lone candle poses,

Still stuck in its own melted and hardened wax – in denial,

Wick, as black and dull as frozen oil, uninspired, no light, no life,

Offering nothing to the room except what it has been- maybe,

A smattering of irony, emphasised by the scattered five, maybe six,

Lifeless shells of nondescript insects, creepy-crawlies, pests,

No longer bothering anybody as they lie piously on their backs,

Basking in their own defeated glory in the muffled gloom,

Miniature feet pointing heavenwards, as the foul ceiling leers back,

A discarded rag lies on the sprawling floor, crumbled up, caked stiff,

As if somebody tried gravely, a long time ago,

To wipe away the last sordid residues,

Of an abandoned life…


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