Sitting with the dark, watching for my shadow.

Old friend. Arch Nemesis. Keeper of Secrets.

Divine holder of all the parts that didn’t fit and find their way, all the flickerings and warm connections that most certainly did.

That move with me in the subtle motion of my hips, that shine through like gold belly coals stoked by a line of grandmothers.

With gnashing teeth and cunning eyes,

Shadow slips through the Hawthorn, running wild naked through golden leaves.

I howl to her in reverence, in union if only for a moment.

Ghosts of sacred past and present, embodied within one amorphous form.

Little does she know how anxiously I wait for her return.

Now, I call her forth with fresh fruit, warm stew at the hearth, fire burns.

I reckon with how we’ll face one another this visit.

Whether I can allow her, all hungry and reckless in this cabin held together with small kindnesses and unexpected grace.

Or if I’ll clamber away with my distractions as she feasts and has her way, before slipping up the stovepipe and back into October without warning.

Leaving me her fresh mess to reconsider in the light.Little does she know how much I’ve grown, how much I’ve waited to sit and feast with her with all I know now.

((**An earlier version of this poem is in my new collection of poetry Letters for Tallulah, which is available for pre-order right now via Etsy. ))

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