I’ll Meet You There

by Steve Mitchell

My boot heels beat a steady clip-clop on the walk.  I stride past houses, one after another, past humming heat pumps and gurgling pool pumps.

Window blinds, lit from inside, hover above dark, yellow lawns.  Blue shadows drape the mailboxes and driveways.  Trees stand black against the stars and sky.

It’s warm.  My pace makes a false breeze and my heart beats fast.  I relive harsh words, out of sequence, running a loop.  I snarl whispered protests.

whimpering beagle
in the road, injured,
it snaps at us

I sit on the couch with the lights off and my eyes closed.  I hear my wife approach.  I open my eyes but say nothing.  She says nothing, but connects with a kiss.  And so we sit together, in the dark.  One dog snores.  One dog watches.

My wife leans into me and we share soft, honest words and assurances and tears.  The minutes tock by.  Gradually, we find smiles.  Gradually, we find laughter.

It’s late and we’re tired but we’re hungry now, too.  We pick up the wine we’d left and, with two forks, we eat a cold burrito.  The hot sauce burns my mouth.  We touch knees.  We laugh and talk.  We finish the bottle.  It’s so late.  It’s so early.  We need to go to sleep.  And, eventually, we do, our sheets thrown aside.

sleepy sun
awakes to soggy earth –
crisp air


© Steve Mitchell 2010