Sleepless Night at Summer’s End
The crickets can keep you awake
like an old rocking chair
loose on the rails.
The 10:45 CSX can slice the night,
scraping west from Altoona and howling
the bridge above Glade Run Creek
where Mohawk and Cree
once cut a path.
But what can a woman
do out in Rockwood?
She can put out salt lick and apples
for white-tailed deer, pick a bouquet
of goldenrod and sweet joe-pye
from uncut fields,
stake a roadside stand with odd bric-a- brac,
get her hair done at Bonnie's Salon
to have dinner down at McDivit’s.
She can pull a daily wage
at Tinkey’s lumber or the limestone works
in Milford or Somerset,
set up a satellite dish for city stars to come in;
but at night
alone in Rockwood,
she can’t keep nosey moonlight
from creeping in the cracks
where she props a loaded shotgun
at the bedroom door, can’t help thinking
a woman’s scream
could be caught here
like a firefly in an airtight jar,
dulled by lightning at summer’s end
storming the walls.
Andrena Zawinski was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA but now lives and teaches writing in Oakland, CA. Her full collection, Traveling in Reflected Light, was released by Pig Iron Press as a Kenneth Patchen competition winner. Her Greatest Hits chapbook is from Pudding House's invitational and archival series. She is Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com and her work appears widely in print and online.