A Dead Man Knocked My Door
By Jane Hyphen
A dead man knocked my door today
I saw his features through the glass
They made me rush to open it
And shout, 'It's you! You didn't pass!'
And tell him of a dream I'd had
Of a tragic event, so sudden and sad
I looked again and realised
This person stood a different size
His eyes were not the shade of blue
Of that dear man I loved and knew
'Excuse me madam, if you please,
We're in your area cutting trees-'
The man stepped back as he decried
Some sad deflation in my eyes
But he'd prepared an argument,
'You've a large Robinia in the front,
If you can pay us cash today,
We'll take the dead stuff all away.'
I saw the chainsaws on his truck
Like savage dogs primed for a bone
I must defend my leafy friend
I said, 'Leave that lovely tree alone!'
He said, 'We'll do a proper job,
And so much light will flood your home.
But there's no rush, go back inside
And take ten minutes to decide.'
He turned and strutted down the drive
And I felt dashed, and angry too
He was nothing like that man I knew
He was much too broad and too....alive
'Hang on,' I said, 'I love that tree,
There's no decision to be made,
My husband planted it for me,
And I like living in the shade.'
He went next door, it began to rain,
And briefly I had to mourn again
I shed some tears and made some tea
The silence hurt and I was numb
Amazed at just how readily
I'd overshot reality
See, my friends have died or moved away
And left a gap for wind to blow
In phantoms to deceive and play
Curious now I walked back to the door
The truck had moved across the street
Those chainsaws they began to roar
I sighed and dropped into my seat