Take my hand, the girl says
down these cellar steps
into the pitch dark.
It was you, remember
who turned out the lights
who wanted to feel
limbs tingle with anticipation
of bashed shin or skull.
You liked it down there
alone, no stars to guide you.
Liked to go deep into smells of must
and mold, past the crevices
in sandstone walls full of spiders,
past the shower stall, its soap
on a rope, hanging cracked and dry,
past the tools on the peg board,
holding their metal breath,
watching you move stiff and
zombie-like, arms outstretched
skin puckered gooseflesh.
You wore it proudly, the possibility
of stumble, trip, fall, a scrape, a bruise,
a gash from hurrying towards
the sole crack of light.
Do you remember how it raised you up?
The quick duck, push, squeak of hinge
blast of sky, bright tree, air, sun.
Then doing it all again, just for fun.
Rebecca L’Bahy lives in north central Massachusetts with her human family and many pets. She works full time in the metro Boston area and recently finished her MFA in 2017, which she began more than twenty years prior. She has had work published in Brain, Child magazine, Writers Resist, the Mom Egg Review, and elsewhere.
© 2019, Rebecca L’Bahy