In the long nights
In the windy long nights of autumn
On those cold nights
I would be in the hills walking,
And on my way home,
October’s chill would find me.

Shivering, I’d slip through the wire fence
Around the graveyard
And make my way to a place
I knew well,
A certain place
Between young spruce trees.

There lay a slab of stone,
Shining if there was moonlight,
Dull if there was none,
A lake of stone, large and flat,
Granite, gray and flecked with crystals of its kind
And sparsely carved with lettering.

Until my shivering was gone
I would sit on the stone.
You see,
Hard things, exposed things,
Gather warmth
And hold that warmth well into the night.

My fingers would trace the carved letters,
The familiar numbers.
I knew this grave.
I watched when he was laid to rest.
I watched from the hill above, later,
When workmen placed the stone.

When a girl like me is on her way home
From a long night of solitary wandering,
Hill and river,
River and hill,
She seeks warmth
But she will not give up the darkness.