Comment on this article

The night has a soul of its own
by Harker Brautighan

The night has a soul of its own.
You can see it in the quality of moonlight.
The lake, so different, deep and black,
draws houses on the far bank to its bosom.
Their lights skate on the lake's black surface and
fade like ice that thins transparent as it steals from the bank.

The creek froze in stages–
thick and milky under a glassy surface,
splintered by my skates, sloshing water over the blades.

Would the milk ice hold…or crack?
How swift were the currents in those bitter days? Swift enough to carry a
soul downstream?
How quickly could one’s blood crystallize?
My brother came home wet to his thighs,
deceived by the whiteness under his skates.

How easily opacity fools.

The pond froze clear, black, and deep.
Closer and closer to the middle we edged,
testing our luck.
The plunging evening cold froze the water surer, but the
black night froze our courage, drawing us to the
solid edges, the way
age now draws me to the outskirts of my life.

The allure of the black ice now translates itself to the
pull of the lake in the dark night.
I haunt the middle hours, clutching solace.
In the darkness, part of the world sleeps and dies.
Seekers of the milk-solid safety of the shoreline
hover in the interstices between dawn and the extinguished light.

I mourn the life unlived,
avoid the uninvited dead,
embrace life in the darkness–
imaginary skating to the center of the lake.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]