Heytesbury Lane

by t t


Waking at night
I hear a pig squeal.

My room is low-ceilinged
with half-moon windows.
Outside the front door
there is a courtyard.
On summer mornings
I can trap the sun.

Sometimes at night, though,
I wake to hear
the pitiable scream
of a trapped pig.
It is difficult to believe
I am not having a nightmare.

When I rise
in the late morning
there is a stillness
in the lane.
I stroll to the shops
past painted doors,
pointed facades,
ladies with toy dogs.
The lane hovers in the heat.

But it is not a nightmare,
this squealing of a pig.
Someone on this lane
is keeping a pig.
All that wealth,
that sobriety!
It is almost comic,
this strange hobby,

except that the animal
seems to be in terror,
bewilderment and outrage,
as if waiting
to be slaughtered,
and I cannot sleep.

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