A Light Left On

“Follow this road. About oh, one hundred meters or so you’ll see railroad tracks. Just before the tracks turn left, then head up the hill. You’ll see it on the left.”

“Thank you.”

“Better hurry, the rain’s coming in.”

I rolled up my window and took another glance at the sky. The clouds are dark and heavy. They seem so heavy they could fall to the earth exhausted after holding themselves above us so long. They roam across the sky in a line of know how. Not one turns to the left or the right. Straight ahead, each spread across the expanse, one after the other waiting for permission to break. Break they will, on anything and anyone. Their relief is our relief. When they let go we breathe deeply. When they hold on we go longing. I, I am longing.

Around the corner and up the hill I can see the porch light from a distance. It’s been forever since my last visit. I said I’d never return. There’s nothing for me here but molded walls and fractured ceilings. The floor peals at the seams of artificial wood glued down haphazardly. There was no contractor, just an old man who needed a buck and a job, willing to pretend he knew what he was doing. That was okay for the first half month, after that it was apparent we should have gone with a professional. Countless times I tripped and smacked my head against warped furniture or smashed into three legged tables supposed to be four. I hated that floor and all the dirt it collected. Every spot was highlighted by another spot. A splinter within a splinter hiding yet another stain. It was saturated with filth it was, full and burdened just like the clouds.

With the engine idling I see a figure pass by the picture window. Slowly it moves then returns to peak through at the curious vehicle at the end of the hill. My goodness, after all these years she looks tired. Never did I think she’d grow frail and gray. I remember her tall and lean, picture perfect. I remember the beautiful woman that could turn a man’s head or make a young boy blush. She was always so beautiful, so very beautiful. The years must have been difficult but then how can one expect to flourish when they live with mold and a stressed foundation? How many times did she trip over the past? How many times did she fall into walls she built around herself? What woman can grow prettier and stronger when her very core is falling down? I should have known. I should have seen this coming. Everything I remember about her is just that, a memory, a past photo stored in the closet. She even looks shorter, maybe a full foot or more.

With a gulp I muster all my courage and shift into drive. Three miles-per- hour and up just a little more then down to her door. I turn the ignition and silence it. She realizes it’s me and turns the porch light off.

Lighting strikes and the rain falls on anything and everyone who wants it.
I want it.

Copyright 2009 F. Magdalene Austin – All rights reserved

A Light Left On

Faith Magdalene Austin

Indianapolis, United States

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Artist's Description

Sometimes we have to let our point of origin stay behind us.



Artwork Comments

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  • Ted Byrne
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