She rests one naked ear
against bare boards
and listens.

Furniture pushed away,
fitted carpet torn
from its grippers,
quilted underlay thrown aside.

Senses focused on sound
her stare sees nothing.

Does a faint vibration of life
seep through the ceiling
of the room below,
shiver the flat black nails
that clench floor to joists?

The house speaks changes
of temperature,
strength of wind.
One wall expands in sunlight,
another shrinks in shadow.

Tensions hold hands with tensions
until all quiver in sympathy: every
sash window, each ill-fitting door,
every lath beneath its plaster,
creaks sotto voce.

Is anybody there? she asks.

Among this whispered racket
of dead trees
is there one
recognisable human sound?

Poem by John Terry

9.5cms high x 11d x 31.5w
Edition of 25