He rarely has those nights
when he can sleep
deep beneath the comforter
and curl himself back into childhood
upon the twin bed next to his brother,
a life he can barely remember.
His parents have long departed
for that permanent slumber
in a room with no view,
touching hands forever
as they once did in the confines of privacy,
now distant and deaf to the whimper
of nightmares that occasionally
still startle him awake and make him restless
in the milk white light of dawn.
The trembling rays of sun
split the pines on a cool summer morn
then splinter his shaded bedroom
and on the days when calm abandons him,
he rises to walk.
It soothes him to see the giant pines
still asleep in their bark,
the dreamless vegetation, unscarred
by human steps, swaying in the early breeze
as the huge ball of fire ignites
the watery horizon with flames
that abruptly shatter the darkness
about the sleeping lake homes.
The loons have ceased lamenting.
Silently, he thanks the crystal spirit of summer
for the comforting yellow gift of morning.
Soon houses blink their shades open,
a motor roars across the lake and in the distance
a chimney raises its smoky arms skyward.
The forest absorbs night as light walks
the mulch paths toward day.
He turns homeward, listens to his own footsteps,
no longer in search of himself.
Michael Keshigian is the author of 14 poetry collections his latest, What To Do With Intangibles, published by Cyberwit.net. Most recent poems have appeared in Muddy River Review, Bluepepper, Smoky Quartz, San Pedro River Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. Published in numerous national and international journals, he has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations.