In the suburb

In the best leafy suburb

the houses sit snugly together

in neat and predictable rows,

separate and inert,

and all is silky quiet,

all is neighbourly,

all is at peace

as it should be,

as dusk begins to fall.


Engines rev to life

at the first peep of the sun

for early morning commuters,

and a few dogs bark the revelry,

as kettles whistle

and kitchens come to

life for breakfast rituals.


And the sun shines its blessing

down upon this suburb,

for those home

and those who would

like to be home

but have to pay the mortgage.


Then the morning clatter

of children scampering to school

gives way to scattered dull sounds

of morning TV and the

high pitch of kettles calling again

for friends to come and chatter and natter,

till the afternoon pickups

break the sounds of housework

and cooking and random

domestic things.


But in one house at the end

of a tree encrusted street

in this neat and welcoming suburb,

nothing of these sounds

has been heard,

nothing of kettles,

or the rumble of engines,

or the squeak of children playing,

or dogs and their echoing calls,

only of silence.


In this neat and peaceful suburb,

along this pristine street,

in this house like every other,

the lights are out

and silence rings

like an alarm clock,

for terror and death wait within.