a flicker of time



He was proud of his blue tick hounds, his

sixty acres of hills, hollows, creeks filled

with copperheads and cottonmouths;

nights utterly still except when a smell or sound

riled the hounds from their sleep

to bay like old mourners.

My uncle read aloud Sunday mornings

from the Book of Job in a nasal voice, 

about hating the night and waiting for day

only to find in the day that one wished for night,

about how we are here for a flicker of time

then reflected in no one’s eye.

My aunt had the custom of hill people of keeping

framed photographs of dead relatives in their coffins.

When my uncle died she got rid of his hounds, his

jew’s harp, said she was through with men

and their ways, but she kept his death photo displayed

on a lace doily in her living room.

Sandra Giedeman


3 thoughts on “a flicker of time

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