Apparition - Poem by Oskar Hansen
October night, northerly wind throws hard rain on windows,
the old house groans in agony under this autumnal offensive.
Mother is reading, my sister too has her nose in a magazine,
I sit by the table doing homework. We have no TV, but after
years of waiting a phone has been installed, a black fiend on
the side table. I had taken a dislike to this intrusive ogre, but
mother thought it the height of gracious middle class living,
needless to say, my sister too thought it wonderful.
Familiar steps in the hall, waited for the kitchen door to open,
it didn't, mother went to investigate; hesitantly she opened
the door, no one there. I wrote something on a scrap of paper,
or rather the pen did. The phone began ringing it rang and rang
for a long time, none of us got up to answer it. It rang again,
mother had to answer it. She stood there saying nothing as lost
in thoughts, I could hear the steady hum of a line that waited to
be dialed. Finally she put the phone down and said;
"Your Brother is dead". She sat down and began reading again
but her eyes were stuck on the same page in the book. I looked at
my scrap of paper on it was written: "Your brother is dead".
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