In a recent comment, Mermaid got me thinking about the journey of writing: where we started, where we were, where we are now, and where we're going. I thought it might be fun to share another retro poem, then pair it with a similar scene from a novel written a year ago. The short story "Caroline" is a good example of where I am today, but these two pieces offer a glimpse into my own process of growth and learning.
The Attic (February 19, 1988)
alone in deep forest
barely seen through sentinel trees
from my bedroom window
when I curl up in soft covers
and let the night
sing me to sleep.
where wind whistles on eaves,
a light moves between the panes--
the old wood makes it feel at home.
Seventeen years in this room;
no one has lived over there.
I've seen the woman.
She only wants to watch the moon
slowly drift across of the sky.
Excerpt from THE HICKORY BARRENS (May 2005)
Behind him, a glow suddenly shimmered to life, and a long shadow formed his own silhouette. In the cold illumination, Michael could see thin shapes crossing and waving in an invisible breeze.
The full moon, he thought. It's shining though the window.
He turned around, and a cry was punched from his stomach.
Curled on the window ledge, bathed in the cold light as she stared out to the sleeping world, the figure of Miranda sat. He blinked and blinked, but she still was there. Her dress blended with the pallor of the light as if her entire figure was poured from the moon. Michael's heart bled at the sight of her against the black sky.
Slowly, her cheek turned in his direction. A sense of presence flooded the room, and wispy threads of perfume materialized. Without surprise or hesitation, her eyes connected with him.
The light faltered as an unseen cloud rolled past the face of the moon, and her intensity dwindled. Her expression never changed even as that cloud thickened and pitched the room back into near darkness. In that half light, Michael saw the curves of her face and a glint of reassurance in her eyes.
When the light returned, however, she had vanished.