Angel Fire: Where the Pavement Ends

I knew he was trouble
the first time I saw him coming up those steep steps
on the side of the place where I was living
that summer in Ohio when I was nineteen
and he was passing through.

He stared at me with steel-cold eyes
flat and pale as a winter morning sky
on a day you just know the sun won’t show
with a slight curl toward menace on his lips
and a weary way about him.

As if anywhere and anyone would do.

But there he was sitting on my stoop
unstrapping a guitar off his back
with his head bent gentle
searching out chords for words he couldn’t say
he began to play.

Alive to the link between meaning
and movement I watched his fingers
plucking steel strings chilling and thrilling
and willingly I
allowed the sound to surround me.

I knew it was too late to escape
as the day broke into night
the long drape of sky bled away
vermillion vibrated through
into indigo blues and I knew

anyone and anywhere would do.

Nina Heiser is a poet, writer and retired journalist currently living in central Florida and Western New York. Her work has appeared in Tuck Magazine; Cadence, the Florida State Poets Association Anthology; Vociferous Press anthology Screaming from the Silence; Embark Literary Journal; and Gargoyle Magazine. Her poetry and photographs have been featured in Pendemics Journal, and Of Poets & Poetry.