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.