All day a current of fear runs
through the household, a background 
buzz impossible to ignore. 

The ninety year old aunt won’t leave
her bed. The three year old cries
for any and no reason. 

The dogs feel it, too. They run circles
around the hole left by the absent one,
whine and misbehave.

The rest of us tend the engine
of daily living–cut grass, feed horses,
cook and clean and cook again.

And through it all, we send scant news
out over the web of far-flung family,
telegraph back concern.
Later, my sister steps into the summer
darkess, her grandson in her arms,
whispers his momma will be okay,

his baby brother, too. Together, they 
count fireflies, name constellations,
watch the new moon rise.