DB (20.02.1988 / Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK)

The Bad Times

They came with the darkness; the dinner’s babies,
the sticks and stones. They broke no bones, but
shattered windows, and the people within them too.
Electric eyes flash, all through the night. Still we miss them.
Still they wage their war of pointlessness.
Like masked marauders they creep, stalking the boundaries,
a safe distance from danger, yet a dangerous distance
from safety. Inside, figures hunch and cower under
all that offers the false sense of protection they crave.
Inside, they know there is no real protection.
The blows keep raining, terror reigns too.
Tears rain also, soaking the scene through.
Wide-eyed child clings to clammy hands, as
reassuring whispers shake with the windows.
Worried eyes never sleep, forever watching, forever
fearful of the shadowed enemy on the horizon. May
they never slip inside, to lurk in cupboards or beneath the bed.
But who are we to know if they’re not already here?
Cold, and soulless inside; already empty and dead.
Watching, waiting. Full of misguided hating.
The cavalry arrives, in clouds of controversy,
their call slices its way through the thick atmosphere
of distress. The hooligans hiding disperse home, to
under their stones. Frightened into retreat like startled lobsters,
caught unawares by a fisherman scavenging the rocks.
Panic dies with the screech of tyres. Or was it the cry
of the owl who viewed this obscene scene, calling goodbye?
We will never know, for dawn rises and the rays shoo the
Blues from us. It lifts the fog of misery, and watches as it climbs.
Tears dry, wringed hands wave goodbye, as relieved eyes see the end of The Bad Times.

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