She Comes Here Sometimes in the Wee Hours

She comes here sometimes.
Almost always in the wee hours
when sleep tries to hold tenaciously
as if afraid to let go.
Knowing the slightest break in the spell
would whisk me away
from the dreams
and the joy that often live there.
And only there.
As always, she is thoughtful
and speaks softly.
Not loud enough to steal me away
from my slumber if it still binds me.
Her voice is always so low
I can only hear it if sleep has loosened its grip.
Ah, but in those times.
In those rare moments that I do hear her,
I am instantly awake
straining to hear her words,
to find her green eyes,
already feeling that warm breath
upon my neck.
Never to be.
For she lives now only in the dreams.
There every moment is alive
and as real as it can get.
But not when I wake
so wanting her to spring to life again,
for her voice to really be in my ears.
I miss you, Scarecrow.
And I laugh as I write that
for if I had said that to her back then,
she’d have likely thrown something at me
or whacked me upside the head
as she fell on me
punching and trying to wrestle
me down.
I would be laughing, struggling
as she pummeled me,
as I let her win.
Giving in to the feeble, half-hearted blows.
Her arms would wrestle me down
then would turn to embraces.
To soft murmurs leaving
her warm breath
upon my neck
and then drift to those moments
that fill my dreams so many years later.

Scarecrow was her private nickname
that no one would understand.
One she pretended to hate
but she couldn’t hide the smile in her eyes
when I threw that name at her.
The story of how I gave that name
is known only to me now
as is everything else that once was ours.
She left it all behind
leaving me with one cliché after another
trying to find their way to this page.
Let me escape that now.
Let me return to the dreams
where she still lives.

Michael Mathews
January 21, 2021
10:13 PM Thursday night
On the lake in my RV
Near where I hear rumors of home