Today's poem is by Alice Friman

Siren Song for Late September

A woman walks the trails at night
wondering where the insects are,
and why this forest, second in dampness
to the great northwest, lets them out
only in daylight.
                        She hears them though,
chirr-chirring in their leafy chains—
slaves to the galley drum of summer
straining for one last wave of heat.

Who doesn't know, given the stuff
of dreams, what pitch black unleashes?
How, when her flashlight dies, that sound
will conspire with the rustling walls
to close in, mocking her terror.
the path her shoes have memorized,
the sweet meander back to the lamp
and unfinished letter on the table, yields.

Like the newly blind, feeling along
a long corridor, what stingy choice does
she have, betrayed on such a cold and
moonless night by the very ground
beneath her feet,
                          but to hold out her hands
to the singing walls, the leg-rubbing, leaf-
cutting walls, smelling of sinkhole and rot.
Black-veined gloves reaching to touch her.

Copyright © 2008 Alice Friman All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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