|Photo by Darin House, used under a cc license|
She scours the woods for a road
to a familiar home, sees the outline
of a door, a mullioned window, can name
the street and number before she stumbles.
Maybe the house is dark, the porch bulb
burned out, flowers in the windowbox
wilted. Fear howls across the night,
always too close. There is no comfort
in looking back. She follows lights
bobbing in the distance. Bramble-choked
thicket catches at her clothes. Memories
unravel, the long tangled string of a sweater
unknitting itself. She finds the cold
no different than the darkness, the empty
promise of strange stars in a distant sky.
The end of a thread slips through her fingers.
--Lisa Janice Cohen, April 2012