Thursday, October 29, 2015

If Darkness Could Not Love Me

by J. O'Shields II

There's a moment each evening when I am alone and preparing my mind for sleep in which I catch myself off guard.  It's generally about the same hour as solitary canine bays lift off dew-heavy wisps of ankle deep fog and make a yawning pass over the treetops and outcroppings of stone which define the landscape of my life. 

In that moment, if you'll excuse my wandering nature, I feel a familiar presence. 

No.  I should say, I feel so many fingertips of memory grazing my mind that I am unable to resist their lure.  They tug me in opposing directions bidding me to pause with them and relive a moment I should never have forgotten.  I let them pull and urge as they will while I set my sight upon the same star as I have watched every night I was able since my eighth year. 

Some nights I am convinced it loops and dips knowing I watch closely.  Other times, I remind myself that I am an adult and it is only light reflected, or refracted, to create an illusion I am too eager to succumb to.  Even now, in the haze of memory and comforting redundancy, I am unsure if I have swayed or my twinkling cohort has learned a new step.

I lean forward uncaring if I tip and stumble.  My weight comes to rest on a pine post which calls me Maker and I hold my breath.  If it moves again I'll know it wasn't me.  I'll believe myself when I say I was noticed by something I cannot name, do not pity, and have not known.  My days would be shadows if darkness could not love me.

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