Behind closed doors
A rat scrabbling inside the cavity wall
behind the chair you sat in made you start
eyes wide towards me in surprise
almost reaching where I stood.
At night we locked the kitchen door,
where I’d rammed the broom handle
in the hole they’d eaten through the floor.
We listened to them grinding at the pole,
aware they knew they’d never starve,
would break out from their pits and voids
through damp green lino glued to boards,
and lay apart white-breathed beneath
piled blankets as the tireless gnawing
crawled upstairs and into bed between us.
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