Seasons In August he prayed for October, for relief from the undershirt stuck to his skin come October he wished it was cooler wanted snow on black rooftops but when December deepened he longed for reprieve from the darkness descending at four wanted, in April, firefly evenings that lingered for hours, wanted whatever was coming, wanted then had it and found himself wanting again
Ghosts You came before we’d practiced what to do, our late-life accident, our only child. How could you comprehend our fears for you? A partial list of things you strayed into: The neighbors’ yard; their porch; the yards beside. You ran and always we ran after you. Our sense of dread dug deeper than you knew. We catalogued your every cough and sigh, and seldom slept a whole night through. It sounds ridiculous, and yet it’s true that when you hurt yourself, your mother cried. How can I count up all her tears for you? We hoped it was some passing interlude, the way your sorrows made us ache inside. How can you understand our fears for you, or know the waking dreams you’ve led us through? You’ve been our joy, our death, our breath, our pride so long that when you leave, you’ll leave us to the thousand injured ghosts we raised with you.
Bruce McCandless is a writer and editor who lives in Austin but grew up in Houston. He’s published poems and stories in a variety of journals and magazines including Seattle Review, Cold Mountain Review, Bayou, and The Texas Observer.