‘No Moon’ was the winner of WANTED #2. Read all the entries here.
Ceding an hour to my body, I rest on the porch, soothing to the old cottonwood’s rustle and sigh. At twilight I go down into the side yard and gather up what’s left of the axletree, the week’s firewood chopped from a beaten Conestoga. Armful after armful, I drop the tarred fatwood into the porch crib. The floor shakes, the sound echoes across the flatland. A spider flees the side of the lodge porch and is gone. I gather the last of the tinder.
From the side yard I see the split stack now drawing ashen smoke. I carry myself back to the porch, and there find my long dead mother leaning on the rail. She pulls at the pleats of her tattered bodice, and ash falls from her skirts as she takes a step, twisting herself first one way and then the other, charting her way to the lodge door by feel and glowering back at me. As if probing for a heartbeat, she presses her hand on the knotted torso of the door. “What a dust I do raise,” she says. After a moment, she opens the door and advances. Above, there is no moon.
Front page image byYannick_Bammert.