Tag Archives: night

Get Along

You wonder if you’re worse for wear
when days are spent in grief
sunlight frozen like cold crystal
nothing brings relief

The night is long, the dew is cold
seems morning never comes
the crickets stop and silence reigns
hours before dawn

Let it go, let it in
go ahead and feel
the dawn belongs to those who face the night
and wait for something real

Tonight you see forever
tonight is yours alone
I can’t say when morning comes
only that you’ll get along.

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Prelude

Tonight is cool, after several sweltering days. June fireflies dance in the meadow, and young goldenrods shoot upwards. The grass is still now that the sun has set. It’s silent, until the softest breeze tickles the treetops, sends them rushing like ocean ripples on sand. The breeze blows itself out in a few seconds, and then another gentle breath flows by.

A woodcock flies by in the twilight, whistling its song as fast as its hectic wings beat. The bird is a blur in the distance, barely visible, when another blur joins it. Both dive downwards and are gone. The song is over; a companion is found.

The sky and shadowland are both still. Jupiter shines. First stars twinkle. The fireflies and one lonely cricket are holding back, staying subtle. It’s only June. August is the time for nighttime ruckus, the last hoedown of summer.

Tonight, the soft, dying breaths of wind are prelude to autumn. I’ve heard them before under cold, empty skies, full harvest moon glaring over a barren October landscape. Tree branches clink together. Leaves rustle. I shiver with cold.

But tonight it’s June. And just as February’s sunshine foretells the spring thaw, this night whispers of coming frost.

June14s

Splinters

Hey. Is she gone?”

Almost.” Roger planted his feet in the squishy couch cushions and balanced his small frame against the window, one hand in the sheer curtains, breath frosting the glass. Taillights at the end of the driveway bumped as the dark Sudan entered the road, pulled right. Yellow blinker flashed off. Accelerated. Taillights flickered behind trees. Disappeared.

Gone.” He looked back from the window. At this height, he was barely taller than Chris, who jerked his head toward the door.

C’mon then.” Chris had duct tape in one hand and a bucket in the other. Roger trotted behind him to the porch door with the peeling paint. His eyes followed the pail in his brother’s hand.

You sure this is a good idea?”

Sure I’m sure.” Chris swung the door open and the bucket into Roger’s stomach. The smaller boy let out an oof. “But we’ve gotta be quick.”

Roger followed him through the door and into stuffy air. Something cold and hard smacked into Roger’s hand, and he knew from experience it was Chris handing him something. There was just enough light to see it was hammer. And a nail. Roger swallowed.

Chris swung the latch and pushed the door open, letting in cool twilight. The overgrown lawn was silvery, lit by a crescent moon. A whippoorwill called nearby. The two boys crossed the yard, followed by moonlight shadows.

Roger took a breath to speak. Chris was taking long strides. “Even if she doesn’t catch us-”

She’s not,” Chris snorted, looking down. “Have you seen how fast the old lady moves?”

Roger tried to keep his breathing even. “A lot slower than Rusty.”

Worrywort. That dog’s teeth are rot by now. Are you in or not?”

In.”

Good. ‘Cause you said you were.”

They paused when they reached the overgrown swamp. Roger listened to his own breathing, thought about the edge in Chris’s voice. He’d heard that before. And he knew firsthand how creative his brother could be when it came to traitors.

Dew soaked into Roger’s sneakers, chilling his toes. He shivered. Barely, he saw Chris’s hand beckoning him forward—the hand with two fingers shorter than they were supposed to be. Roger dared hesitate only a moment before he clenched the hammer and stepped in.

Firefly Shallows

There’s a sparkle in the distance. A boat on midnight’s lake. Grass, if it is grass, whispers past my toes. Mist in the air, cool and ticklish on my face. I hear the change from land to liquid and stop at water’s edge.

I’ve been here before. I feel that. Even in this darkness, a moment after everything went dark for the last time.

Shadows whisper in the back recesses of my mind. Blue. I can’t see it, can barely sense it, but there is blue fog, light, moving near me. Moisture on my hand. Fireflies on the lake.

Sight has a strange way of leaving the body. Even after the eyes go, the memories of light shift beneath the surface. The mind’s eye continues to imagine. Hear sounds in silence, see light in the dark. That’s what they told me. But I’m starting to think I can see better without eyes.

Remember me?”

The sparkle of light has a voice. It’s a lantern.

I met you here,” the lamp says. “Once before.” It has an oar. A rowboat.

Hesitating only a moment, I step into the boat. My feet know where to go. I tuck them out of the way, beneath my wooden seat.

They always remember,” the lamp mutters, and slices glass with the oar.

Ripples on the water. I trail the lamp like a kite. After a lifetime of noise, of clicks and honks and shapes and colors, this is refreshing. It’s more than refreshing. I’ve almost forgotten already.

Who are you?” I say.

They all ask the same thing,” the lamp says, thrusting its oar into the water with energy.

I settle down, and wait. All my life I’ve been waiting. Waiting for the blindness to set in. Waiting for the rest of it to take me. Waiting to find this place again, though I never knew that much till I was here.

That will tell you,” the lamp says, gesturing with wood. There’s an island, the smallest island, and it seems to be sailing towards me. The ground shimmers.

I stand up, strangely steady. I step ashore. The ground is oozing and solid at once. Fireflies dance in the watery shallows. I wonder whether my mind is playing tricks on me. I wonder if it always has been, and only now has finally stopped.