It was two days before Christmas,
And I hadn't seen the riders in the road.
The big bay doing a stutter step,
His head moving down, then up,
Like an oil well.
I swerved my car into the trees
As if I were a child down a slide--
Into a parent's arms.
"Sit here," someone said.
I knew I was dead.
It was snowing outside--
Big exuberant flakes, coming down
In the halo of the porch light beyond the windows...
I hadn't expected that.
Soft sounds came from inside the kitchen doorway.
A hall clock ticked,
I studied the dark richness of the old plank floor,
And soaked in the soothing gray
Of the walls.
A woman came and leaned in the light near the stairway.
"Hi," she said, and smiled.
She wore a ribbed turtleneck and jeans,
With antique silver rings on her fingers,
And her blond hair was the color of honey on biscuits.
"I'm dead," I told her, stupidly.
"I know," she said, and held out her hand. "Are you ready?"
"Sure," I heard myself say,
And I was.
photograph by Margaret Bednar
posted for Real Toads Sunday Challenge.