The Spark

I was telling a story
about the pet chicken
I had as a kid-Pecky,
gray, benign, good egg producer
in our suburban backyard-
an animal I loved and protected
until my parents' ultimatum:
'Pecky or a pool.'
Through the cackle of the other
guests' laughter, I heard your eyes,
beacons at the opposite end
of the table, past
the vase of blue hydrangeas
and the glow of two lit candles.
Completely gutsy,
I winked.
Later, as the party broke up,
I left without saying good-bye.
At midnight, alone in bed,
a fogged-horn night,
I heard your devious voice call
out like light from the sand-dashed
street in front of the cottage:
'Jeffery. Jeffery. Are you awake? '

by Jeffery Conway

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