Night Noises, a poem by Sharon Waller Knutson at
Jack B

Night Noises

Night Noises

written by: Sharon Waller Knutson


The sky turns into Fourth of July
fireworks as the sunset explodes
crimson, tangerine and magenta
and stars fall in the blackness..

The old water heater bubbles
and bangs like a canoe
sloshing in wavy water
and hitting the dock.

I think I must be back home
Because I hear the big black bull
snorting and stomping but it is only
my husband snoring beside me.

I am sure the old washer is playing
Percussion, but the sound is coming
from my brother-in-law’s bedroom
as he breathes through clogged nostrils.

The doorbell rings and I run
In the living room to answer it
expecting a policeman or gunman
at this late hour. Fingering

the ringer from her hospital bed,
my 98-year-old mother-in-law
says her swollen feet and ankles
feel like she is walking in flames.

Feet thud and the floor creaks
in the double wide as the brothers
plod down the hallway narrow
as a mine shaft carrying flashlights.

The oldest turns her over, sits
her up and helps her stand,
and the youngest wheels her
to the kitchen where I administer

the morphine. Once the fire
is extinguished we go back
to sleep until the sun splashes
us awake, the doorbell rings again,

baby robins chirp like crickets
in their weeping willow nest,
sausage sizzles on the stove
and a new day begins again.

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