Beneath The Atchafalaya Moon

Hoping shadows were blind
beneath the Atchafalaya moon
I knelt among the Cyprus knees
letting their prayers into my bones.

Fear had a hunger for my flesh
and I could feel it raking
its raspy tongue along my arms
seeking a weak vein it could drink from.

Above my head the night priest
speaks my name through the moss
letting me know he wasn’t going
to leave until I surrendered my amen.

Feeling the swamp air reach
for my lungs I hold my breath
to keep my soul light from
being snuffed by its moldy fingers.

I could hear mama speaking in my thoughts,
Twila, the devil doesn’t like you knowing his secrets.
You’re the bridge he’s determined to set a match to,
so be strong when you smell his sulfur.

The thing about being brave is you can’t study
for the testing. There’s a whole lot of what you should do
pumped into words, but it’s a different matter
when you feel the burning, but can’t find the flames.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2014

 This is another poem about my fictitious character Twila.  The first one is Dark Hymns Of The Live Oak

 Kerry at Real Toads had us writing Vignettes. 


Helen said…
Stanza, after amazing stanza .. until my favorite, the last!
Unknown said…
I really felt the emotion and the connections between people in this piece, Susie.
Kathryn Dyche said…
So darn good. Loving that last stanza too.
Sumana Roy said…
i love the grit the character shows
in a hostile surrounding..
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Incredible writing, especially "when you feel the burning but cant find the flames".
Kerry O'Connor said…
What a superb portrait, Susie. That opening stanza is faultless! (The kind of oomph of expelled air I get when I wish I had written something as well.) Your description never falters through each successive stanza as the scene plays out, and you have achieved that air of mystery too.. the undisclosed information adds to the sinister feel of Twyla's plight.
Anonymous said…
the final verse is stellar, Susie, to a very strong write. ~
Your image for fear's raspy tongue is stunning.
Carrie Van Horn said…
What an amazing wrtite Susie....intense and captivating and I want to hear more of Twila and her words.....I have a question for you: I am trying to put pages at the top of my blog...I noticed you have those as well, but I cannot get the pages to show without the curser having to go over them for them to appear...I have fiddled and fiddled with you have any suggestions for me? :-)
Marian said…
sooo excellent, Susie! i hope you write much more about Twila.
i see vampires here, but that might be just me and my thing with Stephen King. :) and the Spanish moss has taken on a very dark weight. love it.
Grace said…
Stunning story, I was enchanted till the end ~ Love that final line WOW ~