On Watch by Neil Flatman

On Watch

Il Paretaio, Tuscany 2004

Felt the hard stone of the window’s lip
against my hand, its age, the permanence
of walls. Night breathed in
the dark and swung a pocket watch
over the hills and winding roads
until they slept and in the olive grove below
fireflies swam in whirlpools in the trees
where a nightingale sang:

For god’s sake hold me or I’ll drown.

by Neil Flatman

Editor’s Note: The plaintive call of the last line echoes the fading notes of the nightingale. Short poems are difficult to write, but when they’re done well, the imagery lingers in a reader’s mind.