Creative Writing, Venue

Indoors / Outdoors

‘Don’t leave the back door open!

You’ll bring the outdoors in!’ Mum

used to say / still says, yet part of me

wanted to let it all fall in,

turn our lace and dress to petal,

let moths wear our shirts to dust

let ivy climb our cream kitchen walls

and spread out, make a trellis of the

skylight smash the pane and let the birds

fly in, turn a champagne glass to a bath

for bees or a bowl to a dunnock’s spa,

stomp the chimney cigarettes like wicks

of a candle mulch them a thousand miles

away, forget to check the berries for bugs

let them crystallise and grow, pull up

sprigs of silver birch from cans of cola

and let the roots burst out, the house is

so ready for a world shut out-

Instead I listened and closed it

felt the thump as the breeze’s

sliced head fall, felt the cold

of a closed room, fetched the

hoover for a stray wasp climbing

a frosted windowpane.

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Oliver Shrouder