tap (all hallows)

Tap, tap, tapping on the window, on the walls, on the door.

Tap, tap, tapping on the glass behind the curtains closed and hanging limp, heavy fabric folds of downward shadows not a breath of air to move them….

Scrape, scrape, scraping on the bricks to scour cement from the joins gouging sound that travel through the cavity, the plaster and the skin….

Claw, claw, clawing down the wood that binds the doors within a frame so tightly closed and locked to keep away  the dark beyond, the chill without, the sounds that leak from over there and over there and over there unseen….

It isn’t what it is it’s what it isn’t or might not be but who can know for sure.  How to sort each intonation, incantation, insinuation lurking, stalking, squirming inside out to find itself just hidden here outside the door waiting for an invite…. impatient, indignant, insistent… bang!

A clatter clashes with the sounds I’m now accustomed too upending all relief into a moments’ disarray to shatter fortitude across the floor to hide itself behind the skirting…. silence……. nothing stirs but what was stirring anyway that still stirs on the edges of your wariness growing harder to ignore.

Should I move? Should I breathe? I have to take a breath against my better judgement fearful it might hear. What might hear?  What, the thought that is skewering my skull demanding answers where no answers are exhumed leaving only heightened senses hearing, feeling, imagining everything that is and isn’t there, I huddle close….

… closer to the flame, the only light that flickers from the fire feeding on the very things I feel across my shoulders, night, cold, whispers whisper try to catch me off my guard so I become the shawl I wrap around me and soon become inanimate, irrelevant, of no concern to what comes tapping, scraping, clawing.  I feel the knit against my skin fending off the cold that slithers on its formless limbs through the cracks, the smallest cracks, the thinnest gaps to reach and reach…… and reach to try to tap, tap, tap and crave attention, my attention, not to be ignored to long.

Every hair across the skin lifts, iron filings, anticipation, now you feel me now you don’t… do you see me, do you see me, see me, see me, look….. the voice that wasn’t there and still it isn’t doleful and entreating, a tease to be released that’s waited all this time, all this time, and will not be denied.

Tap, tap, tapping on the window, on the walls, on the door.

There’s nothing there, nothing there, nothing there, and if I say it three times that must make it so….

Tap, tap, tapping on the window, on the walls, on the door.

I listen close, closer, the tap grows fainter, fainter, faint….. everything stops… the tap, the scrape, the claw…. the clock…… stops… did I forget to breathe?

© robert greig 2016


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