Poem by Maurice Devitt (Ireland)
Published in The Ofi Press Issue 34
A Stranger in the House
The worm of fear. At eight years old
the urge to run away
to an older self, no longer afraid
of a key in the lock, him walking in.
Seconds of silence that could tip
either way. Would he ignore you
or twist your hair in spindly fingers,
fairground voice shrinking the hallway
to send children, and mice, scuttling
into corners. Thin as a hat-stand
he rattled through the house, folded
himself into an easy-chair and slept,
mouth stuck in a silent roar. You tip-toed
in rings around his chair and joked
how you could dismantle him
with a set of Allen keys, put him away
in a wardrobe to be discovered
by some future owner who, in a fit
of flatpack fervour, would re-assemble
the parts, this time without the fangs.
"After a career in business, I completed the Poetry Studies MA at Mater Dei in Dublin, where I focused on the poetry of James Wright, Charles Bernstein, and others. During 2012, I was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was runner-up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition, short-listed for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competition and placed third in The Joy of Sex competition. Over the past two years I have had 50 poems published by various journals in Ireland, England, the US, Australia and Mexico. I am a member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group."
Image used under Creative Commons Laws by Jsome1: "Stone House revisited"