“Traveling Through Lightning,” “Night Creatures” and “Wind Chimes”

Issue 33 by Caroline Sidney

“Traveling Through Lightning,” “Night Creatures” and “Wind Chimes”

Traveling Through Lightning

traveling through lightning is

disorienting

I am here

I am not

all this living is more electrifying

when the sky trembles

with light

my senses stand on end

waiting for the next

I exist – I do not

making sure I don’t

disappear

somewhere in between

and the world is still

as I left it

only seconds ago

the world can change

from one breath

to the next

it’s happened before

realizing you were here to stay

packing to leave

a job I thought I’d love forever

all the paraphernalia of living in a space

part-time, long-term

the call from the hospital

that feels

like someone else has answered

the empty house full of things

from one flash to another

the world

shifts

looks different

is different

will never be the same

but only sometimes

sometimes

it is just

lightning

passing

Night Creatures

Coyote pups yip in the distance

and the sound lifts the hairs off my neck

the way good music does

but more disturbing

I freeze

unable to leave the sound behind

unable to stop hearing it

immobile

desperately wishing I was running inside already

though they’re a mile or more up in the woods

living in their den

begging for food

reminding me I can come in second in this race

if I’m unlucky enough

reminding me that my ancestors knew

how to run

reminding me some things were made to live

in the dark

and I am not one of them

Wind Chimes

The wind chimes were funeral gifts

the best of:

fake flowers

a peace lily I couldn’t keep because my cats would eat it and die too

(people can be thoughtless in their sympathy)

three scented candles I hate

and refused to make into some sort of shrine

mournful quotes on throw blankets

and two fresh flower arrangements

that weren’t bad, even though I dislike carnations.

The wind chimes were the simplest,

without affectation of grief,

so they were all I kept.

I hung them on the back porch

and their sound fills my kitchen.

I remember now

that my grandmother had wind chimes

outside hers, too,

something I had forgotten in the years of

assisted living,

then nursing homes,

and finally hospice.

The memory floors me,

not with grief as much as awe.

I can feel her with me

in that other kitchen.

That’s all we want from Heaven

isn’t it?

Not God and all the answers,

but a few more minutes with her,

the air redolent of onion –

the best smell you can imagine now.

About the Author

Caroline Sidney

Twitter

Caroline Sidney lives in southeastern Kentucky, where she was raised. Books and writing have been a constant passion in her life since she was small. She also enjoys a variety of hobbies that all involve making something (cross-stitch, freehand embroidery, and crochet), but her favorites are the ones where you get to eat your handiwork afterwards. She and her husband recently inherited a Great Dane mix to bring their total up to two dogs and three cats. She is continually in the market for a house cleaner. Find her at @carolineesidney on Twitter.