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Liz Almond, from The Shut Drawer

Broken House

"But I am no longer I, and my house is no longer mine"
Federico Garcia Lorca from A Season in Granada

The pane in my door broke like a wind-chime
made me an instant victim of crime.
Small compared to the field of dispossessed,
a meadow where abandoned clothes and shoes
are the only traces of life passing by;
the stepping out of ordinariness into horror.

And after the broken glass, we came back
to the well, the sprung rhythm
of underground, untrammelled, pure,
it fills us when the outer world
threatens to snap us on its wheel.
On the far side of the field of shoes
a woman carries her bucket to a stand-pipe,
she has been thoroughly cleansed,
but finds hygiene difficult to follow.
Her neighbour, an old Serb
who chose to stay in bed that day
has skin lifted from her bones by bayonet
that had just flayed the walnut veneer
from her safe-box with its treasures
stamped into the mud outdoors.