This morning, you studied the frost
on the railing of the lighthouse.
You checked the handwritten weather logs
for a comparison to this time last year.

You studied the curves and thrusts of the letters
in the words written by the person who came before us;
the man who went mad from the isolation
after three months. We’ve now doubled his record.
The decision to hire a couple makes sense—
but one must take into account the added stress
of being immured with the same person
in a small space for a long time,
like being trapped inside your own body
for the rest of your life.

You spent the afternoon watching florid waves
spray their messages against the rocks,
documenting their activities in the log,
trying to read their intentions,
translate their movements
into warnings for homecoming vessels.

This evening, I inspect the thermometer
every hour, transcribing the temperature,
noting the difference in degree as it gets
colder and colder in the room while you
continue to scratch and scribble in your logs.

The sky is becoming heavier with snow.
Not one flake lands though we watch all night.

Toni La Ree Bennett’s work has appeared in Poemmemoirstory, Puerto del Sol, Hawaii Pacific Review, Journal of Poetry Therapy, and Viet Nam Generation, among other publication. She is also a freelance editor and photographer and lives in Seattle with a flock of feisty finches. Website: