Villanelle by Mick Mangan


The memories tumble like dominoes.

In stripped-out rooms, chilly and desolate,

this house begins to give back its echoes.

A hard, harsh acoustic. The bare wall throws

back sound-pictures from the past. As we wait,

our memories tumble like dominoes.

What is left? we ask. What remains of those

twenty years that we just packed into crates?

This house begins to give back its echoes.

We sense faint shapes moving in the shadows.

In grey half-light we try to concentrate

as memories tumble like dominoes.

Something in the heart has started to close.

Though we do our best not to speculate,

still the house begins to give back its echoes

Should we not focus on bright tomorrows?

Or have we just left it all too late?

The memories tumble like dominoes.

This house begins to give back its echoes.

Mick Mangan is a writer, teacher and musician who has taught English, drama, creative writing and performance in universities in the UK and the US. His books, poems, plays, chapters and articles have been published by (among others) Longman, Penguin, Palgrave and Intellect, and his plays have been broadcast by BBC Radio 4. He has also worked as a director, musician, dramaturg and actor. He lives in Leicestershire and spends most of his time sitting in front of a keyboard or playing a guitar, and quite frequently both.


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