Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Knock Knock

by Angela Costi

My grandmother spoke
about her time with war,
never opening the door despite
her hearth crying for company,
“Even if the voice in the dark
sounds like your neighbour’s,
it could be the demon tricking
your mind into unlocking,
it could be the neighbour
who has become the enemy
while you have slept,” here
the sound of welcome becomes
the sound of fear, here I stand,
one side of the locked door,
noticing how my heart
is racing to open the latch
while my head is pounding
leave me alone, the knock
turns into the shrill ring into
the spill of door light’s growing
spread of familiar foreign
demanding entrance, “Who’s there?”
The reply is a cage of jokes
buried by ancestral warning.
The shadow grows smaller
retreats into the shape
of a shawl-covered woman,
softly hunched
opening the gate to leave
with no answer for the knock
of the world
demanding to greet
the body.

* * * * *

Angela Costi is an Australian-based poet and essayist of Cypriot-Greek heritage. 
She is the author of four poetry collections including Honey and Salt (Five Islands Press, 2007) and Lost in Mid-Verse (Owl Publishing, 2014). 
An award from the National Languages Board in 1995 enabled her to study Ancient Greek drama in Greece.