Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lorraine Martinuik


Winter storms the night awake,
rain striking glass panes a nocturne for three a.m.
a melody on the black keys
arranged for the longest night.
Though now all nights are long with wondering
how he sat, enveloped by the dark.
Late winter afternoon gathers dark
the fired imagination, how coming awake
he retraced the familiar valley roads, wondering
could he could drive through one more three a.m.,
would this be one more starless night,
might he find on a back road a key
to turning back, giving back the key
to his father's gun, taken. And sometime after dark
– exact time unknown – stopped at the edge of town [night]e
to the urgency of three a.m. [awake]
[three a.m.]
and stopped wondering.
How could I not have asked him open, I wonder
how long he had planned to take the key
without being caught. At three a.m.
patterns emerge from the dark,
in retrospect. I was not awake.
I thought his dreams were starry nights.
Rain prevents the stars tonight
nothing to navigate by, stop wondering.
How his mother carried home his ashes, awake
many nights wondering, if he had not found the key,
had not the gun to run with, into the dark.
We all question the night at three a.m.
No answers at three a.m.
nothing we can know. But imagine, night
howling like winter, time long and dark
as the distance to the North Star; wonder
how long to compose the black-key
Nocturne for Three A.M. While I, awake
wonder how he failed to exhale the dark
weight deep in the lungs, night pressed hard
against the heart. How take aim?

© Lorraine Martinuik


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