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Sewer Side-hall

I walk side-streets to avoid most folk, till I hear a call from under the curb’s grill.

So’s, I open the manhole cover and slide below ‘The Big Top’ of the city.

In the dark, damp confines I poke around till I feel a little sewer side-hall.

The hall exit is a lit compass to where I can make out faint talking.

So, I crouch and shuffle toward familiar noises, labouring my steps. I could never get my cues.

An opening flood inlet reveals a small mouldy doll’s house dimly lit from the street slits above.

In the rotten blue home argues two smouldering roaches who sound just like my parents.

One roach slams its fists on the table and slurs, ‘We never shoulda had him! He’s too much!’

A shudder recalls mistakenly overhearing the same event year’s prior.

I kick and smash at the atrophied wooden domicile till behind a crumpled mess emerges a small hole.

After crawling through the cobwebbed hollow, I come out a dam opening.

The flooding estuary is poorly lit by moonlight, but I can make out dad’s same highwire rope tied into a noose from the handrail next to mum’s clown shoes.

I peer into the dam mouth opening and see another bottle bottom.

‘Leaning into my chair, I start another Dictaphonic therapy session, knowing full well I won’t get around to mailing it… I walk side-streets to avoid most folk…’

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