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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

BANSHEES

The kitchen bulb shone out a brilliance of protective comfort.
The slight safety of the light path crossed our back garden and on,
fading into the next garden.  Emptying the house rubbish
into the dustbin was better in daylight, when the cold swish


of banshees and spirits from Smicker's ploughed field could not be felt
by a nervous little boy.  At night, the first steps would be slow,
eyes and ears sharp for sights and sounds, real or imaginary,
in the blackness with its shapes and motions to scare.  Turn and flee,


sprinting the few yards from bin to door was the only option,
faster and faster breaths, the breeze's chilling stroke on the neck
causing nerve end shivers and coordination to depart.
Back inside behind a slammed door, the thuds of a thumping heart.


The kitchen bulb is now a fluorescent tube, forty years on.
The nervous boy's a man but thoughts of banshees are far from gone.

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