Back when I used to play doctor: I am
passing the house with its blinds fully pulled;
the boarded up window facing the road
nails out the past from what they say love did
to the girl at a city school. Three years
she’s been in that room with her diary of hurt.
What stalks her mind robs her of speech.
Like a slate wiped clean, she returns to the bed
that is her fort against the overhang
of whatever fills her mind with its long night.
To hush the shame, no one’s invited there.
That house: above eye level from the road,
with whitewashed stones up to the verandah steps
forming two lines from the gate. A hard wind flaps
a nearby breadfruit tree as I pass,
marvelling at what the adults deem
might be fruit for a juicy conversation,
blind to the secret in the children’s game
of 'Thread yuh needle, thread, oh, long, long thread, '
while she, stuck in a world she cannot
leave behind her, lurks in a room
whose curtain never moves in the wind.