THAT LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE
Six years they lived next door
with Jack, their magnificent, soft spoken husky,
and Crosby, their loppy eared, amalgamated barker.
Six years they hung shining Christmas balls on the lowest branches of their front ash.
Just last year they saved their three, blooming cherries out back from heavy, wet snows,
about which I was delighted, since those blossoms fill my windows each Spring.
They fixed the back fence each time Jack chewed through it to visit.
We worked to keep each other’s sidewalks clear of the annual ice dams.
And each and every night, they turned on their bright, annoying porch light.
Every, single night that blessed light lit up my living room and kitchen like day.
For six years.
I covered my windows with dark curtains and thick blinds at first.
For at least three years, I cursed them softly under my breath,
plotted to unscrew the bulb.
I huffed around complaining to myself, growling at my cat.
I learned to shut my bedroom door, eventually, which blocked the light quite well,
and then I found it actually helpful
when I found myself wandering ’round the house at midnight.
No need to turn on my own lights. The rooms were well lit.
So it became less annoying, more a beacon of friendship and safety in the neighborhood.
I came to like it, to depend on it.
It became the norm,
Until three nights ago
when I could not sleep,
and stumbled to the kitchen
in pitch blackness.
and a wee bit frightened.
The light was out.
My rooms were very dark.
All was weirdly quiet.
Was something awry in the neighborhood?
Then, on Tuesday, the sign went up!
They sold their house!
They moved away!
Without a word!
Without a wave, a smile, or snarled farewell.
Jack and Crosby, my furry buddies,
have a new yard to romp and bark in.
Their mom and dad have new rooms to fill,
and no doubt a new light lit on their front porch,
to shine in some new neighbor’s windows;
And I am left to curse the darkness I learned to live without
these last six years.