Night falls upon her
as she lies there alone,
hair dark as the earth
falls upon her shoulders,
satin teal nightgown caresses
skin warmed by waking dreams.

Sleep cannot overtake her,
she burns too fiercely
for that paltry release,
candle burns lavender on the bedside table,
lace falling like candle wax to the floor,
shadows jump and flow across the walls,
she turns away
to stare blankly into the flame.

Listen, carefully!
She can hear them now
whispers in the dark,
running among the shadows,
their breaths grazing her temples.

The whisper–
clear as a running brook
reveals itself to her
One man’s voice
speaks to her waking dreams:
fairest words of love,
secret fears untold for years,
dreams for the future,
honeyed endearments,
remorse for wrongs done,
regret for actions not taken,
simple pleas for acceptance,
and, again, sweet words of love.

The whispers cease.
He is gone ahead.
She tries to follow,
eager for the touch
that will set her free.
The path is hidden
by the granite of reality.

The candle flame falters,
dies a sudden death,
she is plunged into darkness
to face again the solitude.

She lies on her back,
enduring the dying hours,
awaiting the whispers’ return.

Dawn arrives–
she is still there,
drawn unwillingly into sleep,
hair covering a face
battered by the night’s vigil,
beauty worn thin.

Pale sun washes the room,
a single tear glistens on her cheek.
In her dreams
the whispers beckon…

January, 1994 © DAI