The night shrieked too when I left home at last.
Those days had rocked with sock hops and nehi pops.
My sister Allie so moody, so volatile, so beautiful
had found true love. His name was Charlie.
His hair glistened over his sparkling brown eyes.
Could he dance and could he sing!
Allie played every instrument so easy then.
When they made music together the crows stopped in flight.
The summer stood still; the night was magic.
Every day Allie was calmer. She didn’t slam the door
or run outside when Daddy came in the kitchen any more.
And Momma didn’t glare and rattle the dishes and pans.
It was hot, so hot that Tuesday when an ambulance came.
They came into the house but Momma stood by while
I couldn’t find my scream and they twisted Allie in a jacket.
They hauled her out and away. So Daddy beat the table.
The crows found my voice, we heard their hollers
through open windows. With no breeze, sounds fell like hailstones.
Weeks passed and Charlie left town. Kids said he was blue.
Blue, that’s what I was too; then Allie returned,
at least her body did. She drooled and stared in space.
She didn’t know what the piano was and stumbled when she walked.
When Daddy came into the kitchen, she crept toward the door.
He continued watching her. The next night I found out why.
I heard him open my door and saw the monster she’d told me
he was. In my p.js I kicked open the window screen and ran–
I ran through the blue night, the blue wheat rows, the blue
earth to the blue train tracks and the black ties. Down and
down past black bridges until the day caught fire blazing
red in the windows of the last blue barn.
(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * 2011