Pittsburgh’s summer nights got stuffed with fear.
Distant lightning careened above our hills.
Which demons silenced the thunder,
then slithered our way scaring chained dogs?
Jagged “arfs” slid through humid air, followed by howls.
We feared these sinning hours.
No school or nuns protected us
with tales of God’s righteous fire.
We didn’t hear “Don’t daydream in Mass.
Never put stones on trolley tracks.”
We mumbled the Sign of the Cross,
said Grace quickly, making lunch a sin.
Norse, Greek, Egyptian myths delighted us.
We skipped Saturday night confession, stayed home,
watched the Pirates on TV. No one warned us
of black dots we placed on our tiny souls.
Tonight we stood by my Davy Crocket tent
beneath the great maple, trembled at the howls.
All the powers of hell ran towards us, we knew;
they never arrived. Crescent moon danced
with clouds above our tree. Soft thunder came.
Vagabond wind massaged us.
Crickets clicked lullabies. We rested
with summer night’s forgiveness.