Lumens

Rural night. Sounds can take you out. Inside running water stops, a break in the music on tv gives way to some noise outside. Could be nothing again. Slowly walk to the porch. Shine the flashlight with its fading batteries into the darkness made darker by screen-dulled vision. If that sound signals danger, my pathetic light will play usher to an early exit, at best. Poor planning. I hold my arm up to the night to cast my light into the field beyond. Eyes. Deer maybe. Bear. Coyote. All regulars around here. They never blink or turn away, they just stare straight at the light. And where deer seem crazed or plain stupid mid-car kamikaze, these eyes tell another story. Hold steady, don't back down. Human light. I depress the plastic button on the flashlight and drop my arm. I imagine roles reversed, a light shone in on my own fear and how it would resemble those eyes. Two stars fallen and frozen in space.

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