One Step at a Time

You had no hall. Behind the door
of your front room the letters lay
like drifts of decomposing leaves.
You stepped across them twice a day.

You stepped across them twice a day
while junk promotion, final bill
and family tidings cried at you.
The cries ascended small and shrill.

The cries ascended small and shrill
of courts, of creditors to pay.
With steadfastness like Saint Jerome
you turned your conscious mind away.

You turned your conscious mind away,
but some disturbance stirred there still.
A breasting wave blocked out your light.
A shadow paralysed your will.

A shadow paralysed your will.
You turned your conscious mind away.
The cries ascended small and shrill.
You stepped across them twice a day.

-------------------------

© Brian Fewster,
Published in Poetry Review, Oct 2003.

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