Sestina #1: Noise Annoys

By Michael Sindler

Heater whirring -  Refrigerator hums

Incessant ticking of the spring-wound clock

Thump of bass through wall from music next door

Leaky faucet drips every three seconds 

Overhead, heavy shoes stomp and tap

Through the window, argument on sidewalk 


Police push drunk kid down onto sidewalk

Lying face to ground, boy mumbles and hums

TV theme song, cop gives him nightstick tap

Jesus, it's damn noisy for nine o'clock

Watching the dial slowly click off seconds

Someone knocking, who the hell's at the door?


Pull on pants, there's more banging on the door

One more look at the scene on the sidewalk

Stare across the room for a few seconds

Static from the neighbor's stereo hums

Time seems out of phase, not synched with the clock

Water drops echo in staccato tap


Bang replaced by "shave and a haircut" tap

Still reluctant to see who's at the door

Poe's tell-tale heart not as loud as this clock

Escalating drama on the sidewalk

Wails of pain and anger replace the hums

Scream seems to last an hour, not just seconds


"Wait, I'll only be a few more seconds"

Who's this asshole continuing to tap?

Kid howls as the sound of a taser hums

The cops drag him in their car, slam the door

Pool of fresh crimson blood on the sidewalk

Five long minutes have gone by on the clock


What jerk would be knocking at nine o'clock?

Can I get some peace for a few seconds?

Squawking radio shouts from the sidewalk

As I twist the knob there's a final tap

A damn Jehovah's Witness at the door

My brain goes ballistic, rattles and hums


I want to clean his clock. what nerve to tap

"Right this second get away from my door!"

Down on the sidewalk, the drunk kid still hums