Amongst the fairy lights
An unforeseen chemical reaction
A tiny spark catches and builds momentum
A row born from seemingly nowhere

Ancient tensions are ripped through
The surface of a shallow burial ground
Handfuls of fresh dirt are flung
With remnants of unforgotten grudges

The maelstrom of accusation ebbs
As the licking of wounds is displayed
The “Exhibition of Pain” opens to all
An attempt to engender support

As perceived opposition gathers
Fury transforms; becoming sorrow
The silent telephone contrasts bleakly with
The cacophony of self-examination

Growing, learning, listening and forgiving
Years of work; unravelled in seconds
Carefully-constructed, delicate bridges
Collapse in one misplaced heartbeat

Disguised children who dare not grow up
Pigeon-hole and package me neatly
Inside a sound-proofed, child-sized box
To be heard only by those paid to listen

Again under the microscope of other’s creation
A new era of meetings with strangers
In cold, sparse rooms, adorned with posters
Listening to experts on “How to Be Good”

A new term of teachings; already learned
How not to anger the forever-enraged
How to listen closely to the unhearing
The inevitable permanence of injustice

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