Monday, 10 April 2017


I don’t know why they call it crystal night,
she said. I didn’t see a single crystal. Just
feathers falling from windows like snow.

I guess it helps to claim you’re fighting
something loaded and impenetrable, I guess

it’s better than admitting you went straight
for the beds.

Now, it’s the night of broken glass and I hear
that glass is made from sand, that sand

happens at the meeting of rock and a thousand
years of tides. So many things so long in the making

but a fist and a gunshot are shorter than seconds.

Still, when I wake up thinking the odds
are stacked for the other side, I can’t

help believing in small rebellions, six
long nights of woman banging pans. 

Could you stand there, machine-gun sighted,
your only armour a hope they don’t mean you?

Could you drown out your doubts
with a clang?

They say that glass is also a liquid, it’s just
moving more slowly, and I can’t help

believing we’ll get there if we’re careful,
if we choose the right words to remember,

because words are our only windows
and we owe the past one that’s unsmudged.

It was feathers. It was broken glass.
There wasn’t a single crystal in sight.

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