‘Break-In’

This is one of the first poems I wrote and revised significantly, in a Creative Writing class in Spring. It’s fairly different – and longer – than my last post, with a completely different tone and structure.


My house has been broken into.

I almost don’t believe it, even though I am standing

Dazed in the rubble of my bedroom.

A smell is hanging in the air,

Unfamiliar and unwanted

Like a stranger in your bed.

 

It feels as if I have been invaded.

What is left of my belongings lie scattered,

Blown across my room

Like limbs on a battlefield.

Old t-shirts, scraps of paper and empty drawers

The sole survivors.

 

Before this my room was a place of calm.

Nestled on the top floor of my student house,

A bean bag in the corner, and on the walls

Photos to cover the metallic grey paint.

My desk under the window, overlooking

The park across the street. At night I burned

Incense to mask the damp left to fester by the landlord

It was never much, but it was mine.

 

The bean bag is split, balls littering the floor

My photos of family, friends, and precious memories

Are torn, ripped, discarded. One is missing.

Perhaps they wanted a souvenir.

My desk is cleared, notes swiped carelessly to the ground

And my laptop is gone. My place of work, where I would sweat

Out essays into the early hours, always cluttered

Is now the cleanest part of the bedroom.

 

I drift downstairs, noting the stench of shit

One of them left to float in the toilet.

They didn’t flush. A bad idea,

We ran out of toilet paper last Saturday.

 

Television, laptop, Xbox, even microwave and kettle

All are missing. I call the police,

Tell them my home has been taken and the robbers

Are still out there robbing.

We cannot come out, they say

But we will try our best, they lie.

 

I am overcome by a wave of anger, my hands sticky

Sweaty from shock and now clenching

Fists. I think about the photo they took

Wondering if they used it as toilet paper,

As my still face smiles in blind ignorance.

 

A part of me hopes they feel guilt, and look at the photo

Of me smiling, and have remorse.

Another part of me hopes

Sincerely and devoutly

That since justice failed

They choke on their sins

Slowly.

And that as they gasp

For air

My smiling face floats before them

In blissful retribution.

I breathe deep, and take a seat.

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