Thursday, 9 July 2020


by Brooke Herter James

She woke at midnight
disoriented by the moon — 
its light so bright as to
make shadows across the yard

like the certain brush strokes
of late afternoon sun
reaching around tree trunks
to lay patterns on the grass.

Is this madness?
to grope for shoes and robe,
to leave the house silently,
to stand on the front stoop

and wait —  as if for a lover
to emerge from the silver gauze,
take her by the hand,
lure her out, like the tide?

Then the dog barks,
she retreats inside, lies down
beside her gently snoring husband,
listens to the clock tick.

But she refuses sleep — not wishing
to risk the disappointment
of waking a second time
and knowing exactly where she is.

* * * * *

Brooke Herter James is a children’s book author and poet living in Vermont. She has published two chapbooks, The Widest Eye (2016) and Spring Took the Long Way Around (2019). Her work has appeared in Poets Reading the News, New Verse News, and PoemTown Vermont. Brooke was a finalist in the Poetry Society of Vermont’s 2019 National Poetry Contest.

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