The Crack

Vicki Feaver

cut right through the house:
a black wiggly line
you could poke a finger into,
a deep gash seeping
fine black dust.

It didn’t appear overnight.
For a long time
it was such a fine line
we went up and down stairs
oblivious to the stresses

that were splitting
our walls and ceilings apart.
And even when it thickened
and darkened, we went on
not seeing, or seeing

but believing the crack
would heal itself,
if dry earth was to blame,
a winter of rain
would seal its edges.

You didn’t tell me
that you heard at night
its faint stirrings
like something alive.
And I didn’t tell you –

until the crack
had opened so wide
that if We’d moved in our sleep
to reach for each other
we’d have fallen through.