Naomi by Christine Klocek-Lim

Naomi

The angel told her not to fall
asleep outside, but Naomi
had never been very good—
always the wild child.
The girl with the bold
words and songs
no one understood.
And anyway, the sunset had given
her ideas on how to pile
stones at the edge
of the field, like a pyramid
or a temple or a shrine,
and then she’d lost
her shoes in the grass.

An owl hooted.
Trees bent down further
than they ought, trying to see
what she’d done.

“This is what happens
when you don’t listen,”
the angel said.

Naomi captured a firefly,
thinking it might show
her secrets.
It had light. It could fly.

The angel fluttered like a broken
leaf above the scene, stern and righteous.

Naomi let the bug go.
She stretched out her feet and hands.
Watched the moon walk over the mountain
like an old wise woman, face turned
toward the past.

The angel tried again.
“This is not your place.”
“This is not your home.”

Naomi closed her ears and eyes,
remembering her lost dog.
Thinking of her dead mother’s cat,
how the creature would stare into the brush
for hours because everyone knew
a mouse lives beneath the world.

The angel swept wind over the field.
Scattered leaves and dust
as if anger had fingers.

Naomi pulled starlight
over her shoulders and elbows.
Tucked her feet into the hill.
“This is my dream,” she said.
“And I am not
afraid.”

by Christine Klocek-Lim.

Editor’s Note: As an editor, I feel it’s important to avoid indiscriminate self-publishing, but on one day a year, perhaps you will forgive me (yes, it’s my birthday).