South Shore

Granny scuttles through the dark cabin
followed by the clickety-click
of tiny dog claws

Northern lights, Northern lights

she softly calls
between the raccoon cries
that roll from her tongue

beds creak
tussled figures emerge
in flannel night-robes
and woolen sock-a-tees

Granny leads the processional
outside into darkness
down the wooden dock

icehouse air
awakens the senses


mouths fall open
heads tilt upward

the Milky Way’s spiral arm
embraces a domed ceiling
of endless stars

on the far horizon
towering pillars of greenish light
dance to silent music

a loon tremolos its haunting call
another mourns to the east
not a whisper from the pines

the glass-smooth lake
mirrors the stellar display
not a ripple marks the surface

I cannot resist touching the illusion
my hand vanishes
into the warm, dark water

bats flutter overhead
whistling after mosquitos
a meteor ignites the sky
scorching through the mist

fingers point
to where an afterimage

when our murmurs hush
the howls of timber wolves
echo in the distance

it seems colder now
out on the dock
the warmth of bed

we walk back alertly
heads on a swivel
wary of animals in the grove

the moon peeks
through the pines

back inside
discolored boards
displace the night sky
and thick blankets
bury the chill

as sleep descends
deep in the Northwoods

(Pine Bay, Deer Lake, Minnesota)

SW Gordon

Stephen G. Weiss II has a BA in English from the University of Iowa and an MFA in creative writing from Stetson University, as well as an MD. When not writing or practicing medicine, he enjoys fishing, fantasy football, and Basenjis. He writes using the pen name S.W. Gordon. His work is forthcoming in Dash Literary Journal, Edison Literary Review, El Portal, Evening Street Review, Five on the Fifth, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Off the Coast, The Opiate, The Penmen Review, Roanoke Rambler, Streetlight Magazine, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, The Thieving Magpie, Torrid Literature Journal, and The Write Launch.