A mile or so to the north there is a hill with a curved road climbing it, and every now and then a car's headlights will sweep a patch of sky between two pine trees and fade into the night above. On another block nearby a dog was barking for about three minutes, but no other dogs joined in. All the time I was observing these things the feral cat who has to sneak into the yard to have dinner because the other feral cats run him off was crunching a bowl of food. He finished and crept off warily, crossing patches of moonlight as he made his way to the back fence, and I was left alone with the chirping and buzzing insects.
The earth turned and the eave shadow gradually swallowed the wall, and the rose bush shadows shifted onto the ground and grew less distinct. The breeze picked up and the turbine spun faster as the light moved upward and turned into a streak around its top. Cars passed less and less frequently, and finally there was only the sound of the insects and the occasional rustling of leaves. The air was not quite chilly enough to make me shiver, but I shivered once anyway. My thoughts let go of gravity and I closed my eyes and rose into the moonlit sky.
The Abandoned Valley
by Jack Gilbert
Can you understand being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the well
so you could feel something down there
tug at the other end of the rope?