After Everyone is Gone

Fireflies of memory
in the darkened rooms,
greet my silent passage
with light from unexpected angles.

The past made new
each moment,
a startling shock
of the familiar—
which also grounds me.

Another green ghost rises,
illuminates my face
and disappears
into a darkness
greater than before

while I navigate
the old familiar rooms.



Dusk drinks down
October rain,
autumn color,
the road ahead

which shortens
to a halogen halo
seen through the slap
of windshield wipers.

Follow the staccato pulse
of the yellow center line.
Tunnel through night.
Reach home

to snug beneath a blanket
and dream daylight
until it pours the world
back around the house

as if we never traveled in darkness,
as if nothing were ever lost.

For @dVersePoets Open Link Night.

At Lake Ronnie, 1975

In the dark
I find my uncle’s voice
punctuated by a cigarette tip,
burning bright orange
then red as the sentence
rises in conclusion,
followed by the laughter
of all gathered.

Yellow party lanterns
strung around the clubhouse
screened in porch
light the way for
escaping conversation
to roll down the steep lawn,
across the boat dock
then meet chance phrases
carried at dusk
from the other side
of the lake.

The random gang of syntax
gathers on Uncle Mel’s salmon pink
fiberglass pontoon boat,
casts off the bow line
and motors at slow speed
to the lake’s center.

Words drift in and out
of this party of strays.
They become less and less
coherent as the night deepens
then stagger off
to separate silences
before dawn

when fish awaken from dreams
of being drawn beyond choosing
toward brilliant light,
dancing gracefully
in a long arc.

Most take this
as a good omen
and swim unaware
beneath the rectangular shadow,
a man’s loud voice,
and a dusting of cigarette ash
on the water.