Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Nights found her out, nights that at zero
Left her more than in the dark;
And behind curtains, in unfamiliar windows,
Artificial candles sparked
Whitely, electrically, hopefully
To guide homeward benighted Daddy or Baby,

But not misplaced, misguided Lucy,
Who only, when snowstorms flared
Up blindingly in streetlights would walk—for safety—
Down candlelit, frigid, care-
Less streets along which she hoped to find
Nothing at all, but rather, to watch through white wind

The candles keep their vigil behind
Normal, expectant shutters,
And watch them burn religiously through nights unkind.
Lucy patrolled, ashudder,
Good neighborhoods under snow’s cover,
Leaving foot-prints where gusty white-outs led her.

Like candles, she swore, “No surrender,”
But hoped for nothing hidden,
For nil in houses that, like Advent calendars,
Promised… but wouldn’t open
Doors to her.  “I’m invisibly free,”
Lucy, through snow, said.  “Someone’s coming home, not me.”

Jack Hayes
© 2010
This poem originally appeared in Timbuktu

No comments:

Post a Comment