“Maybe she’s just waiting out
the wind”
I say to myself,
“She’s savvy, and it’s cold
but she might just be
hunkering down until it’s

my mother sleeping
on the couch
light on over the back door
sleeping vigil
for she who comes and goes
as she pleases
then sits atop the barbecue
waiting for the chirp
the alarm makes
once the door opens,
one small meow.


Sometimes it’s hard to
see at night, I know it, the
frozen trees
on the road in ditches I took
to looking in,
looking frozen,
time stopped under weak headlights
at midnight
while holding out a hope
that stays flickering as long
as that one bulb
flickers over the
back porch.

no, not one more.
no, not one more.

It’s the light post
christened home
in the days back
where the streets
as I remember them
were quiter,
first one out of the neighbours
tagged streetlight,
first one home,
‘spotlight on–‘.

still here
wish the wind down
listen, hoping.

no, not one more minute of this,

Stare into the black of
night, defiant,
(it won’t take you)
wait for daylight.
Watch it
as it relents,
relents in cracks and hisses,

sometimes you keep the vigil.
sometimes the vigil keeps you.


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