In the dark,
The sound of padding feet brushes the clink of pints and barroom laughter from his ears.
Beside the ancient church, old stones remember the faith
And mossy bones whisper from their beds
‘The time is near,’
As it was four hundred years ago;
There’s the bustle of rabbits in the underbrush consummating their existence,
The glitter of the creek running through town past the memory of an ancient mill.
Through the crack in his bedroom door,
There’s the peering of a childish nightmare; moonlight on a boulder rolling still,
and through that,
Feet padding nearer, a tangible fear; the hackled beast
That glints its pearly canines in the darkening of the witching hour.
Many leashes have been cast around the matted mane; names
Like Bargeist, Shriker, Black Shuck, and the Galleytrot.
But this is the thing that kills Allfathers; the chains that bind it
Cost an arm and a leg.
In a new world,
The old watchdog is forgotten in the paleness of airport terminals and DMV’s,
and a fleeting snow states its seniority, holding time at bay
over the glistening of frozen water.
Kneeling in a graveyard, the wind freezes his fingers as he looks for something lost,
The feeble flashlight on his phone stirring faded words into his life.
In the dark,
Footprints testify, and old-eyed stars keep watch. And the swooning shadow prowls,
And howls its emptiness onto the wind. All around,
He hears the sound of padding feet.