by Gay Williford
The silence was palpable.
No bird, animal or insect noises.
The chase had hushed the residents–
the whole woods seemed to hold its breath
as the darkness of night approached.
Ducking behind a rocky outcrop,
Stacey hid and listened…
no footfalls, twig snaps or panting–
momentarily she allowed herself to feel safe.
surrounded by dark trees and brush
sentinels offering protection.
Prey of her abusive father and uncle,
she fled from capture and confinement.
Time crawled, her legs cramped
as she crouched low and alert,
praying they would give up
and an escape be possible.
After what seemed like hours,
she then heard the cicadas begin to sing again,
an “all-clear” sound in nature
signaling any danger had departed.