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May 2016
Nobody’s home
Your loud desperate knocks fall silent on empty hallways
Echoing off the closed up doors and windows
Nobody’s home
You try again
One knock, two knocks, three
Growing more desperate as you try to see if someone’s home
But everything falls silent
The echoes dyeing within seconds
No footsteps coming to greet you at the door
Nobody’s home
Your attempts fall flat as they reach the battered up hallway
But the sound doesn’t reach much further
The dog doesn’t bark
The cat doesn’t dare make a single step
Nobody’s home
Now the knocks become louder and louder
More desperate as you try to hear something more than unanswered echoes
Louder and louder
Drawing the snooping neighbours in
Peeping over their tall fences trying to see if you’ll be let in
Starting whispered discussions wondering why you are there
Are you there to collect money?
A cup of sugar or something more?
Their conversations staying quiet
Their ears stay open seeing if they can hear one more desperate knock
Money passed around the fences
Betting on what you came for
Coming to collect a long lost child?
Or just saying hello?
None of these neighbours will ever know
But their ears stay open
Their mouths begin to close as they hear one last desperate knock
A knock that yet again falls silent on empty hallways
Echoes bringing back the sounds of what was
And what will never be
A knock that brings back years of memories
You’ve heard this before
And yet here you are standing at her door waiting to hear it once more
One last knock for the crazy desperate man
Now he knows that nobody is home
There won’t be footsteps there to answer him
The dog won’t bark
The car won’t awake to see what’s happening
But he knocks again
Bringing back the wave of memories
Trying once more to smell the sweet smell of her
Cookies on a cold day
The smell of a sprinkler on full blast on the hot ones
The touch of her
Her face
Her face that not for one day has left his memory
Every day he remembers her
Remembering what once was
And what will never be
And he does that happily
For he knows now that his desperate knocks will only echo back silence
Bouncing on walls and doors that should be his
Polished door handles
Immaculate house
That fluffy dog to greet him when he comes home
The neighbours begin to leave
There’s nothing much more to see here
Something much more interesting must be happening on TV
Money is handed back and conversation falls quiet
Doors slamming, windows banging, kids shouting
Sounds that used to be so familiar are now distant memories
The man takes in one last breath
A soft knock
A quiet knock
So he can know that he did not leave without a fight
He turns and spins and decides to leave
Nobody’s home
That what he thought
Until he saw a car pull in
A car that just may let him in
Madeline Rook
Written by
Madeline Rook  Toowoomba
     Mario Cervantes and Ellie Sora
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