Nocturne by Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Nocturne

Into the darkening woods we followed
Tommy Lynch, whose blonde head dipped and darted
At the front of the pack like a hay bale
Lashed to a broomstick. It was big and square
Like that, perched indelicately atop
Sloping shoulders and spindle arms that led
To vessel-webbed hands chapped as a codger’s.

He’d promised to show us where the devil’s own
Rose after dark in a circle of pines,
Under the wolf moon, the blood moon, or no
Moon at all, which was especially dire.
We all knew better than to buy it, yes,
But went along, for what boy wouldn’t love
To hear a buried rumble, soft at first,

Then see the carpet of needles stir
And the putrescent, peagreen dead erupt
To snatch at our fleeing backs with claws
Like Nosferatu’s? Tommy Lynch, you come
To memory now, your eyes bulging white,
With stories hypnotic as the firelight
That flickers in the pines and can’t go out.

by Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Twitter: @ByDanSheehan

Editor’s Note: This narrative poem uses imagery and alliteration to spin a tale of boys and their ghost adventure that will delight even the most imperturbable reader.