The power was out when we went to bed
that night, remember? It had been out
since suppertime—one of those late
that used to roll through the valley
like a tidal wave. We blew out the candles,
forgetting which lights had been on,
forgetting about the radio
till, soon after we’d drifted off,
it jumped to life, full volume,
(along with the bedside lamp)
for a brutal second—just long enough
to jolt us awake with a dire,
frenetic male voice proclaiming, “Too late!”
For an instant we blinked at each other,
stupefied. You lunged for the radio knob
as the room went black again,
and there we lay, in country dark
(so much darker than city dark)
with that voice still echoing in our heads.
Was it too late? For what?
There were numerous possibilities.
Even back then, there were numerous
possibilities. The kids slept on, oblivious,
in their little rooms, their wooden bunks
under the flyspecked windows,
and after a moment we began to laugh,
a laugh we can reignite
with those words to this day.
We dissolved in each other’s arms
in helpless laughter.
From My Shoes Are Killing Me (Biblioasis, 2015) by Robyn Sarah