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Hello, I’m visiting the area on behalf of Amnesty International
The world’s a pretty scary place and sometimes it seems hopeless,
but it’s good to try and make a difference. . .
I say my piece
to the twins in sloppy jumpers and blue jeans who answered the door
of their tall, odd house at the top of the hill, but fluff my rhythm
when they swap an honest, amused look and toss their fringes,
each moving her arm on the banister, and I can’t help but think
about the long, intimate evenings this September when they sit
on the floor of their blue bedroom, one sketching faces she dreamt,
the other listening on headphones to dead singers from the seventies
while their father, a professor of classics, marks PhDs in his basement
– imagine the suppers of salad and lasagne we could share
in the dim kitchen, the girls showing me their mother’s drawings
who died gifting the world with these warm and witty sisters
who’d give anything to know her, and still bake a pink cake
for her birthday, while their father smiles faintly at the paper,
talks of gods and cats, his hands shaking slightly from nerves,
and later I’d take the spare room looking over south-east London,
the park slanted with swings and shadows, the houses staggered
on the hill, where the sun reads from a line of windows, I’d read
till I was tired, and no longer heard the twins’ voices in the attic,
their laughter, high and heavy, leaving through the skylight.