A power cut across two innings

It’s eleven o’clock​
and the power cut has arrived​
for its second innings​
after the break it granted me for dinner.​

I had hung on through the first,​
moving candles​
and emergency lights​
till I found the optimum position​
for both​
so I could be seen​
on a Zoom call.​

This second innings is less frenetic,​
ambling through like a washed-out cricket game.​
It’s so silent now I can hear​
the tap dripping in the sink,​
the faint voice of a kid talking in a room somewhere in this neighbourhood,​
and heavy footsteps down the stairs outside.​

In a different time,​
the whirring of the fan​
would have drawn the curtain​
over the leaky tap,​
the kid​
and Mr. Loudly Plodding Man​
in the stairway.​

I’m thankful at least the man next door,​
the one with the bazooka voice​
is not on the phone right now.​
No wait,​
I wrote that too soon.​

I will soon swat the mosquitoes​
when I head to bed.​
Or stand in the balcony and watch the stars.​
But I forget,​
it’s been a cloudy evening.

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