The motion sensitive light
by the cabin’s front porch
came on at 1 am. Woke me
from sleep into instant terror
of something unexpected in this dark—
a deer, a bear, a predatory man,
my mind went wild
the light went out
only to shine again
three quarters of an hour later.

I tried to remember
name of the flower
deers might eat but it made no sense
that they could trip the light.

I heard, I barely heard, a whoosh
I wondered what a nightjar was
and thought of owls, but heard no tiny killing scream
and realized that death most often comes
wearing an ordinary name,
a known disease, diagnosis, something in Latin
or just a common part gives out—
liver, kidney, lung, or heart.

In the morning, I felt a little sad, and sleepy,
and saw the nest, packed tight
behind the motion sensor light
I realized that some unknown bird
had winged its way
out and back, causing the light
to flick, keeping me
awake in a dark
where fungus grew on every tree trunk
pale lichen on every rock
and bits of mica sparkled
and spiders spun their tatted lace
dew hung the threads with sparkling drops.


About the Poet:
Miriam’s Sagan’s writing can be found on her blog: Miriam’s Well at Her most recent book, A GEPGRAPHIC: Memoir of Time and Space from Casa de Snapdragon, was published 2016.


Photo by Petra.


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