The residents of sector 7G
glazed hopelessly at the news,
although it had not yet announced
their plaintive Cassandra visions.
Rumours of a riot
tightened leather jackboots, creaking
as they had once heard the rope
of a swing
chirring against an ageing tree limb.
There was a little less oxygen
for all of them.
A squall of panic
swept through every room
just as the inaudible
white noise drone
of the announcement system
turned on, before the reassuring
familiar voice mechanically
called the curfew into being,
as always at nine o’clock.
Nothing ever happened,
they could not name a change,
yet still they stared at one other
across the tundras of their tables,
all wondering how they had come
to die with this person.