That night we sat on the front porch
to count shooting stars —
I was going to wish for a happy life
now that the hard part seemed behind us —
but the clouds rolled in before the show began.
It was the night of no moon, so dark
I couldn’t feel you sitting next to me.
And then the train whistle —
you said it was like a siren song,
always teasing the anchored with stories of motion,
of corn fields stretching out like a green sea,
of bridges built on stilts as tall as a city block,
mysterious headlights at midnight crossings.
I said in the morning I’ll wrap the trunks
of the young saplings white and tight,
like a prizefighter’s fists. One day,
we’ll have shade, life will be easy.
After that you were so quiet
I thought you’d fallen asleep.
When finally the sun rose,
I saw that you were long gone.