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Sleepless Night At Summer's End
(Rockwood, Pennsylvania)
by Andrena Zawinski

The crickets can keep you awake
like an old rocking chair
loose on the rails.
The 10:45 CSX can slice the night,
scraping west from Altoona and howling
the bridge above Glade Run Creek
where Mohawk and Cree
once cut a path.

But what can a woman
do out in Rockwood?

She can put out salt lick and apples
for white-tailed deer,
pick a bouquet of goldenrod and sweet joe-pye
from uncut fields,
stake a roadside stand with odd bric-a- brac,
get her hair done at Bonnie's Salon
to have dinner down at McDivitís.
She can pull a daily wage
at Tinkeyís lumber or the limestone works
in Milford or Somerset,
set up a satellite dish for city stars to come in;

but at night
alone in Rockwood,

she canít keep nosey moonlight
from creeping in the cracks
where she props a loaded shotgun
at the bedroom door, canít help thinking
a womanís scream
could be caught here
like a firefly in an airtight jar,
dulled by lightning at summerís end
storming the walls.





--This poem appears in the book by the author, Traveling in Reflected Light
from Pig Iron Press.

 


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