On This Mountain

Entry by: Cara

2nd April 2015
Welcome to Civilization

At night, she says it’s quiet enough
to hear the humming of the power lines.
It’s why she lives on this mountain.
This is what she tells me,
while we sit outside in the viscous dark.
She says nothing of the buried child,
tucked beneath the sod in a cemetery three states away.

Behind us, her house rises
like something that has always been here,
tucked into the grade and weathered
like the trunks of the surrounding trees.
Inside the pale, unfinished woodwork looks raw,
like the sap might still be fresh in its grain.
The floorboards have been sanded by the grit
of other people’s boots,
relics of nights spent elbow-to-elbow
around the kitchen table,
drinking whiskey and trying to remember old card games.

Later, I stretch out on a thin mattress in a twin bed frame,
draped in a clean but threadbare quilt.
The power lines sing like sirens,
like the keening of a bereft mother
who has born her grief to a higher altitude,
who finds something bearable in the rarefied air.