When I fall asleep rain is hitting the roof,
steady as in childhood. Later I wake
to silence, watch the cloud-dusted
moon inch along its path.
The creek behind my parents’ house,
bend of it, curling around us. I’d climb
a live oak, settle in trunk-and-branch v.
What’s the last sound of evening
before the first night noise? Day, dusk,
dusk, darkness. Waiting for stars to show.
Falling, sometimes, I’d let my body
slip between, not try to catch
on limbs, soft when I landed.
When I got home she was gone
already, always be sorry, her body
a husk in familiar form, spirit
scattered I thought, but dark
before sunrise a dense shadow
floated above me, mother-in-air.
Field stretches up to the woods. There’s a sort
of path here, on the periphery, summer
evening, rose-tinted near-dark sky.
I turn away from the light, peer inside. Boulders and
oaks grow together, ferns and witch hazel
intertwine, intricate, indistinct.
A few steps into the woods, not far, I stand
still, fade out of color, lose angles, lines,
dissolve into smoke of a fire
gone out, hidden.
Small owl lands on a branch
near my head, we don’t move, I
don’t want her to fly. Under her eyes
I become material again, substantial. She
waits for me to go so she can get what she came for.