Neighbourhood Watch

Dawn blots up the inky starless sky,

as birds tune up for the morning performance.

A cul-de-sac cluttered with sleeping cars

yawns onto a field, where ghosts of dead dogs

chase squirrels they never catch.

Same but different houses are not yet awake;

eyes drawn closed or shuttered, anticipate a sudden onslaught of light.

A tangled green battlement defends one from its frenemy,

an antiseptic abode with a manicured lawn, relentlessly mowed by a bloke wearing rubber gloves and wellies.

He has lived there for years but nobody knows his name.

A solitary hanging basket swings from a porch,

rocking to sleep the widow of a henpecked empty shell, elevated in death to Saint Bill.

Two cars smooch on a driveway, loved up in a recent and unexpected relationship.

A toppled dustbin spills its revealing guts.

A tabby cat strolls home, a dog barks, a car engine starts up.

I step away from the window.

Gaynor Clarke