Gill Schierhout

Working as a nightwatchman

Working as a nightwatchman, the night sky
Loosens the jar of sound, a truck’s bereft
Far-away tonnage, inverted battle cry
Like this, I was leaning into the cleft

Rain slanted down, wet leaves obscuring sound
Deaf to myself, I heard nothing
Til a rising knowledge, a fully round
Certainty that I was busy dying

No longer father, daughter, mother, wife
Petty chaos calm, small hungers fading
That was how it felt: lightened weight of life
No bruise, to be blameless, uncomplaining

So certain I would die, I cannot now believe
My voice has sound, my eyes perceive