Poignant Promise

Scrappy branches of barren trees
scratch against October’s crisp cobalt sky.
Moonlight
and a mother’s bedroom lamp
paint screaming banshees
across the front lawn.
Winds heighten
to an eerie squeal.
She leans in, pulling a safety pin
from her ear.
Tussled hair, the scent of patchouli
and cigarettes. Her lips
taste of the night.
A safety pin punctures the
denim jacket’s collar.
Forever.
A poignant promise
from a shadow too young to notice,
not old enough to know.
Long ago.
Still, now,
I wear a safety pin on my jacket,
if only to remember the taste of the night,
and the smell of autumn.

j.g.l.

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