Next Door

By Helen Dunmore

is the same as ours, but different.
Back to front stairs, and a bass that thuds
like the music of demolition
year after year, but the house
is still standing.

When we have parties they tense into silence
although they are good at fighting.
After the last screech and slam, their children
play war on their scab of a lawn.

We’re mirrors of one another,
never showing what’s real.
If I turn like this, quickly,
and look over the fence, what will I see?