Forty-Eight Panes

It starts on the front porch

with a determined stare,

inspecting each of four French doors

through each of the twenty-four panes

it can reach, then over the fence

to the back porch, continuing

its ritual before settling

for a bedroom windowsill, hunched

against another numberless night,

nose pressed to window screen

as if to sniff the light, perhaps

recounting each pane, each door,

each windowsill before

hanging its head to doze, secure

in darkness, in silence,

that lonely scent of empty light

a curious, persistent dream.


by Richard T. Rauch


Richard T. Rauch was born and raised in the New Orleans area, and currently lives along Bayou Lacombe in southeast Louisiana. Rick’s day job is constructing rocket propulsion test facilities at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to test the Space Shuttle replacement “Space Launch System” designed to get human explorers back to the moon and on to Mars. (Keep your fingers crossed…) Poetry credits include: Big Muddy, Confrontation, Crack the Spine, decomP, Euphony, Grey Sparrow, The Oxford American, Pembroke Magazine, Quiddity, Wild Violet, and the anthologies Love Notes (Vagabondage Press) and Down to the Dark River: Contemporary Poems about the Mississippi River (Louisiana Literature Press). Flash fiction credits include Infective Ink and Aspen Idea (Aspen Writers’ Foundation/Esquire Short, Short Fiction Contest finalist).

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