Late enough. Alone in my bed I listen to sounds drifting through open doors and windows. Muffled laughter. Snippets of speech. A high pitch. A low. The clink of ice cubes on cut-glass. A fork or knife against a spoon. The scratch of a record needle sinking deep into a groove. The rustle of skirts as they brush against trousers. A pat from a hand. A jab from an elbow. A hiccup. A belch. A pinch. A sneeze. The simultaneous snap of fingers.
On my wall, shadows morph into monsters. Venetian blinds transform into the bars of a prison. A summer breeze enters my room without knocking. I jump up and tiptoe to the second-floor landing. For a glimpse into a world of chiffon and pearls. And smoke rings. And charm bracelets of gold and silver that jangle to the distant leitmotif of another time and place.
. . . mother’s note tucked
inside my bedroll