Nobody's Home Right Now

by Geoffrey Clarfield (August 2019)

Stairway, Edward Hopper, 1949
Nobody’s home right now
So why don’t you
Go into the dining room . . .
Sit down, have a drink . . .
Just don’t use the sink
If you do,
We can’t make the place look like new
Again . . .
You knew that, didn’t you?
Hold that!
No, do not throw that
Put it down, down, where there is no sound
No sound, nor sun
Down now,
Put it on the eider down
There’s a good boy
And you were a good boy,
Weren’t you?
Please stop singing,
No, not that song
“Gee up little pony
Take me around the town.”
You were behaving like a clown
A red nose with a frown
Big feet
Wrapped in a big sheet
A circus clown who just can’t climb down
Instead, you have all been going 
Round and round
Was there really any one around?
I can’t hear a sound
He  once walked into to a hat-maker’s shop
There was nobody home
Not even a mouse
All was quiet, Ah hah!
It was not the quite the right house
Was there anything left there or right?
I mean around the house . . .
It all seemed once so nice . . .
Like sweet and sour pork with rice . . .
Hey kid, “You ordered number 27 or was it 42?”
No, I said, “Give me 38 and something new.”
Does that  come with a coke?
It does not, and for your information
Here you cannot smoke
But If there’s fire there is smoke
And who said anything about hope
The heart is always filled with hope
Hope is where the heart was
His heart just could not cope
He is not home right now
And by the way, kid . . .
You can’t go home now
Not even somehow . . .
Nobody’s home right now

Geoffrey Clarfield is an anthropologist at large. For twenty years he lived in, worked among and explored the cultures and societies of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. As a development anthropologist he has worked for the following clients: the UN, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Norwegian, Canadian, Italian, Swiss and Kenyan governments as well international NGOs. His essays largely focus on the translation of cultures.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
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