So stirs the night

The moon obnoxiously stares in a mad, glowing fury as the night awakens with the bark of the bullfrog. Slim, everlasting fingers of a beaten and battered willow yearn to reach the barren bank as if to meet a comforting friend there at the water’s edge.  Bubbles stir in the brook as a wandering wolf stops to take a few laps from the cool, black water. Howls echo against the trees, placing a sadness on the scene. With that, the wind bursts by with a shrilling whistle, shushing the night’s life and sending everyone back to the shadows.

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Oh, Joy.

Sunken eyes pierced through the lens of her oversized dark frames

Surrounded by wiry, unkempt, gray tresses

As her long, bony fingers stirred the brew of our

Childhood imaginations.

The brew foretold of mystery and evil

Unlike her name…

Joy.

I Remember

I remember the end of the world

Chaotic “hours” where only minutes passed

Clenching carpet, struggling breaths

The phone calls that brought no relief

I remember spilling secrets

Guilty of spreading their venom

Seeing them cover up their heart’s ache

Learning to bottle up what hurt most

I remember my friends

Willing to take me in

Knowing when something was wrong

Begging me to speak

I remember not being able to forget

The terrible truth behind every lie

Hope, loss, and no family

Wondering if I was a burden

I remember when God stepped in

Picking up what fell to pieces

Lighting up the darkness

Sticking my family back together

I remember my doubts

Not letting my hopes rise high

Still struggling with the memories

Offering myself only one way to run

I remember living life and letting go.

Kristen Stephens

(Aug. 20, 2009)