My mother talked for hours on the phone.
We could hear her muttering in the bedroom.
Upset about something, she scraped her voice
across the blackboard bolted to the wall
of my brain. My father smoked cigars,
sipped a little scotch on ice, read history
and old novels from the public library.
“I’m afraid of Virginia Woolf,” he’d say,
looking up from the pages of Orlando
or The Waves. He wasn’t afraid of my mother,
though, had learned by then to ignore her
sighs and symptoms. Night came on.
Wolves roamed beneath the streetlights.
Often I heard hooting, or giant frogs, a deep
throaty note, like the bass string on a guitar.
Where we lived, the wildlife was something
else, prehistoric and terrible, in the old sense,
striking in the darkness like a terrible swift sword.
Steve Klepetar lives in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. His work has appeared widely, and has received several nominations for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.