He said that we would be “living the dream”
on our own love island,
hidden away from the
hassle and bustle
of commuter life in the city
without the pollution and the crime –
and I believed in him.
And when I saw the ramshackle cottage
I found it quaint and other-worldly.
First he built the chicken-coop
for a few hens, which now wander in and out of our kitchen
and lay their eggs in some dark place,
because a vixen got into the chicken-coop
and murdered six of the best layers
in one short night
full of squawks and frightful noises.
I didn’t mind then – but
I have slept far better in my fifth floor flat,
beside a main road and the train track
the cars and trains hooting and tooting
through the night, embroidered my dreams.
I dread the stillness of the pitch-black night;
the ghostly wails and shrieks of nocturnal creatures
on their dark business – of which I know so little,
make me shiver and squirm like the rabbit and the worm.
He said once we would be “living the dream” –
but now I wish I could escape my “living nightmare!”
By Barbara Boyle