"Night/offers the truly good parts from daily decay..."
Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series
Need to Know
13: Free Form
12: The Necessary Ear
11: The Necessary Eye
Issue 10: Out on a Limb
Issue 9: The Missing Body
Issue 8: The Lily
Issue 7: Passages
Issue 6: No More Tears
Mother and Daughter In Late Summer
At dusk, forgiveness appears.
The day played out,
the pine trees on distant hills
bed down the light
that once poured in and filled
hawkweed covered fields.
A little girl, her hair in a bun
like Mother, feet swirled by fog smoke,
reaches up to hold one hand close
to her mother's skirted dress,
down the dirt road toward their house,
where along the ditch a pixie light
plays peekaboo among the sedges.
The sky expels the last remaining cloud,
clearing way for an exhale of wind.
Mother dips and wraps the coat
around her girl to keep the chill at bay.
When days close out, they send
what's best to shine under lampglow
in a room looking over the bay,
with waves heaving
foam onto shore, leaving small white finials
to fade away. Nights graze
upon the earth from heaven,
bending low to offer starlanes
for the little girl. Nothing
scares her in the dark except empty gazes
from the daytime, the predictable spell
of Mother's anger. Night
offers the truly good parts from daily decay,
where she sees her Mother fleshed
out, kind, where she knows
forgiveness is always here,
something to partake of.
Life doesn't have to be only this.
The tyranny of the indoors
is overcome by the stepping stones
in the swamp where the evil creatures—
Mother warns her—catch up on their sleep.
She is not afraid. The house
seems a scarier place to be, flaring up,
an anger out of nowhere raging full note
right at her. It's then she sits on the porch
reserved in her mind, where crickets chatter in the dark,
and she forgets the storm itself,
falling away from the day to awake
in the white garden
formed by lanes of stars.
She and Mother on a porch swing, a ring
around the September moon, the lost
time made up before it's too late.