Jane Dougherty Writes

For the dverse prompt

I had walked this street so often

yet never noticed the façade,

the way it shunned the pavement like a criminal,

windows dingy, half-shuttered,

paintwork the yellowing shade of cheap paperbacks,

the name, camouflaged by time and rain

barely distinguishable and incongruous—

Hôtel de la Gare.

We ended up on this street

one night of pivotal tension

that started beneath the stars

and ended

behind the dingy half-shuttered windows

of a hotel far from any station.

No trains woke us, no cock crowing,

the curtain veiled the half-shuttered sun,

and the silence was like suffocation.

Years afterwards I still walk that street,

and the criminal shiftiness of the façade

glares at me, hands in pockets

and a fag in the corner of its mouth.

Just keep moving.

I keep moving,

wondering why those dingy half-shuttered windows

refuse to sink back into unseen shadows,

why that incongruous…

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