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Saturday, June 10, 2006


by Ray Templeton

I thought I saw somebody passing in the night.
You saw no-one. The city gates are locked.
But my father heard the steps of someone running.
It is against the law to run; there was no-one there.

My child found footprints in the dust.
Not a man’s prints, those are cats’ or dogs’.
My wife was roused before the sun rose
by the voice of someone calling. She heard the wind.

This is not the first time. There have been
other nights when sleep’s been troubled.
This time of year, the animals are restless;
it will pass over. Go back home.

Where is the one I spoke to last time?
He is not here. He could not be trusted.
Who decided that? On whose authority?
You ask too many questions. Go back home.

But these new laws – how can I learn them?
You will know them when you break them.
My family lives in fear of what will happen.
You need not worry. We will speak again.

Ray Templeton is a Scottish writer and musician, living in St. Albans, England. His poetry has appeared in Magma, Iota and at Eclectica, Poems Niederngasse and The Argotist Online. He is a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm magazine, and his writing on various kinds of music has also appeared in Musical Traditions and Keskidee.