Too Many Nights Without Stars

road at nightOff on the right, just out of reach of light
Where darkness swallows human sight,
Animals of the night rustle in chorus.
I hear them moving, breathing, howling
Far out in saw grass, among shadows
Where the soil is black from runoff.

A hundred yards away stands
Old ash, where eight years ago
I carved our names in the bark.
Measured inch by inch your height, still growing—
Back there in the past when you were always young,
Still played on the rope swing by the lake.

I have no appetite to go there now….
Too many nights without stars to mark the road….
Back when summer’s Moon was warm and full,
At beginning of solstice— even then
Growling spread out as cloth in gathering dark.
So easily seduced by tender memories,
We were both blind to the danger waiting
Where wood, meadow and ocean roar,
Finding blood thinner than salt water.

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