March 23, 2009

Shannon Amidon

MIDNIGHT

They were never cold before the night
she found him in the near dark kitchen
holding a 20-gauge like a crutch,
leaning into the corner between oak cabinets.
Able to think of nothing else, she asked him
for a story from his boyhood. His damp cheeks
glistened in the glow of the plastic rainbow
nightlight. And he began. Something about skipping
church by escape through his upstairs window
with his younger brothers, how they raced toward
Big Rock, and once there, how they climbed into silver-
limbed tupelos to get a view of their backyard
so they could watch their dad’s face contort
and redden when he shouted for his sons. Not
unlike her father’s shadowed expression on this night,
only, not the same, either.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007