Fifth Of November

November 5, 2009

“Remember… the 5th of November”    –John Lennon, from “Remember”


           FIFTH  OF  NOVEMBER    –  -ESTER MORGAN, from “Beyond Calling Distance”

I draw the curtains, turn the TV up.

The dog’s already cringing, despite a shot

to calm her down. She trembles


like the cringing on a lampshade

as a distant earthquake starts.

Hair-trigger hearing; she barks


as the postman changes gear

a mile from home, cocks her head

at the silence before the phone rings.


She senses storms hours in advance,

cowering as the wind roars and flattens

fields of corn in the distant Borders.


Now her ears, fine-tuned into the dark,

are flickering, picking up the spurt

of each struck match, the sizzle of fuses.


She creeps into my lap, her tremor

thrilling through my ribs, I croon

It’s alright, but she’s deaf


to comforting. Her eyes slide sideways

showing their whites. I see clouds

scarfing the moon like gun smoke


a crowd of pale faces lifted to the sky,

children covering their ears

ready to scream.



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