Earthquake in Japan

The evening grew cold in the coldest of months.
They climbed hand in hand up unequal stairs
and lay beneath rafters, disturbed by small tremors –
never anticipating a big one.
All the years living above
uneven floors, lovers in their slow decline
with creaks echoed in their dreams.

The night grew darker, and clutching his gown,
he staggered out into an alleyway,
a sleepwalking figure who only
awoke when he couldn’t go back,
when he coughed back dust
clouds of plaster and wood.

The morning grew bright. Twisted beams
smouldered in ashes. The house lay
broken and burnt. “There!” he said.
A sniffer dog pawed at the rubble
where the building had been,
but not deep enough yet.

(written for Abingdon Share a poem – February 2024 – Theme – Catastrophe)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *