Authors note: I’ve always considered the line between prose and poetry to be arbitrary. Originally posted elsewhere in 2007

“The Gift”

The stiff oilskin crackles beneath my sore fingers. Smoothing the creases on the rough tabletop reveals the words written in shaky looping letters. ‘The Gift’ sears my weary eyes with the promise of something more. I turn the paper over and examine the reverse, but there is nothing there. I move the candle stump closer, wax drops meander across the wood. Holding the flickering light behind the parchment, I search closely for hidden words, but none are forthcoming. Placing the mysterious paper down, the edges curl and blacken in the heat; I move the candle back. I settle in my chair, the fading day overcome by the bleakness of night. The familiar room slowly spins and I lurch for my hammock. Sleep closes my lids and I dream.


the key to a good night’s sleep
no alcohol
no chocolate
no sex?
what’s the point of that?
the paper, it teases me
the gift?
what does it mean!
swaying, close, night breeze
shutters BANG!
I wake… I think…
a dream
lightning flashes
a figure THERE!
can’t you see!
he points at me!
glints of gold, there in his hand
or not… I can’t tell
sleep, need sleep, bottle
slips… crashes… glass
crunches beneath feet
figure there, still there
back-lit in rumbles
candle flares
voice from beyond
the key… here is the key
the key
the key
the key
day comes, glass swept away
sand left behind
to door
there on the floor
the parchment, words now
leading… somewhere
the key


3 thoughts on “driftwood

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