30/30 Working Draft 17: Midnight Echoes

This week I had a wicked crick in my neck and ended up on the couch because the bed was too soft.  It was the first time on the couch since Becky was pregnant with Sam.  It was also the night the police had a shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers.  I was asleep and then woke up to a series of text messages coming in over my phone, then as I tried to go back to sleep I heard a series of faint thumping noises, followed by more texts, and then I heard someone running down the street.  Now, I live in the town next to Watertown, so the footsteps were obviously not related, but in the strange haze of being awoken in the middle of the night and not really knowing what was going on out there, the footsteps did take on a more ominous note.

The original handwritten draft actually has a different ending.  In that (longer) ending it talks about the helicopters we could see outside the window circling Watertown that we could see all day (being stuck at home).  And Maya, being 2, not really knowing why we weren’t leaving the house.  Something I’m thankful for.

I did make one factual error in the version sent to the 30/30 blog.  I said March instead of April.  While the below is an older draft, it does reflect that (just inserted) correction.  All future versions will have that correction.  Actually works better with the correction metrically.



Sleeping in the midnight living room
the crick in my neck and the peeping baby
wake me. The glittery gold picture made
of origami cranes, hung over the mantle
peers at me like a giant eye.
Groggy thoughts, wandering about
in my head, stumble towards
a similar night, not so long
ago when my phone buzzed,
then buzzed again. A text message
then another and another. Who
is writing me from Hawaii now?
I thought. And in the distance
a thump—thump—thump,
low and hollow and far away
like fireworks on the Fourth of July,
suspicious and worrisome in April.
Then more buzzing and buzzing
and buzzing some more
until I had to get up to see
what they were trying to tell me.
All from work to say “stay away!”
on a night when two boys are on the run
And as I settle in to sleep, there is a lonely
pair of footsteps running in the night.

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