The Keeper

It’s a thorough erosion,
And small joys
Shrink
To pinpoint light —
Not enough
To break through
A fog.
Climb
To the lantern room.
Bar the door,
Trim the wick,
Count the days.

A bloody sun breaks
The eastern horizon,
Glances up
Into a black storm wall
And gives it up.

And you know
She’s out there,
Somewhere,
Riding
Or battling a wave.

Down below
A lone minstrel
Pulls a concertina
And the plaintive gulls
Add harmony
And dissonance.

And you wonder
If this will be
The last time.

So this is the wall
Where you keep
The count.

This,
The oil
To keep the lamp
Burning.

These,
The rocks
That saltwater and time
Send to the bottom.

This,
The fire
For letters written,
Never sent
Across the sea.

This,
The anguished
Path you trace.

And these,
The blue windows
Where you watch
And wait.

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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