by Mary Ann Meade

Winter. I left the house, went to the creek, listen to low water
Pecking like a chicken on a rock. Slowly, I threw key after key

Into the air. By luck or by chance, the house key and the shed key
Touched each other, rang like a bell. But no one answered the ring.

No one saw what had happened. Somewhere in the night air,
I had lost the house key or what my mother called life's key.

Now I go through the root cellar to get to the top floor of the house.
Needless to say, there are huge spider webs in the root cellar.

For days and days, I am caught in a web. Could someone, anyone
Share a house key, the key to heart, soul, light. Can anyone,

By luck or by chance, hear the howl in the house. Or even the bell
That rings, the house key and a night star touching each other.

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.