Early August Near Midnight
At the edge of the house I cannot afford,
Old window open, conscience thin
Black screen barely a mesh between
Two environments. One built to keep
The other out, the other which does not
acknowledge even itself. Behind every
Wall upstairs the cricketsong of heartbeats.
The family’s dreams swirl around me:
These are fierce hunters. Bills and debts
Look for places to hide but the dark wins.
I know I will have to sleep, awake, pay
A daydream down. But tonight
I will enjoy their protection, my fears
Fleeing from the dreamy claws of trust.
Portrait of a Daughter, 5:45 a.m.
She gets up before everyone else, goes downstairs.
Turns on all the lights in the house — upstairs hallway,
Foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen. The back
Porch, the storage closet, the downstairs bathroom.
She stands and watches as the ghosts charge her,
Trying to find the chinks of darkness to escape into.
Always just as her fear begins to give in, they dissolve
In the light. A ragged pause, a short breath. Now
The rest of the family can be woken.
Humble Poem #1 [Garden Drive]
I’m grateful for this quiet night, and sleep
and waking from a dream of my children
in my childhood home they’ve never seen,
staying up late singing “Dance, Dance, Dance”
with their uncle my brother around the living room