Arriving at Night
It was always a lot of work just for a weekend
and a long drive down, sometimes hitting traffic.
Arriving in a vacuum of darkness,
you fumble for keys, hidden, uncovering
leaf debris, shaking off cobwebs,
using the headlights of the car to see.
You pause, apprehensive—
What has happened to the contents since last there?
Has the fridge gone out? Did a storm drive in rain?
A musty odor arises from dank carpet,
stale, unstirred air smelling slightly of
desiccated insect wings and mouse droppings,
ladybug carcasses crunch beneath your feet.
You search for the light switch.
DVDs scattered, a plate in the sink,
a toy on the floor by the sliding glass door.
Everything as you’d last left it.
You hurry back, bundling the kids,
carrying their sweet sleeping bodies
close to your chest.