A Few Minutes Past

A few minutes past eleven pmheavy drizzle at night
everyone’s sleeping
It’s cold and raining,
yet there are insects in the air.
I am sitting on the front porch of my in-laws house
hoping someone will find me here.

My wife, wide awake five minutes ago, must now be sound asleep
I am locked out, accidentally, of course…
stupidly, of course, when I went to get something from the car.

Should I sit and wait a little longer
Should I sit in the car?
I have the keys, thank God
and a blanket in there.

Should I start tapping on the door, gently
or a window hoping to wake, but not startle someone
Once before, ten years ago, I did this
but I don’t remember what I did.
but it was my mother-in-law who found me
“What are you doing out here?” she asked.
“Nothing, I was…”
“At two in the morning? I should have left you.”
She was trying to be funny.
She wasn’t.

I am understanding the feelings of someone
ostracized from society (whether real or imagined).
Is returning possible?
If so, how?
Bother others and put them out of their way?

Dogs barking at some midnight ghost
Could it be me?
They sense the out of place
which I am,
sitting on the front porch
shackled from the inner warmth,
watching wild raindrops splatter,
while the wind grumbles against the darkness
and a distant train groans carefully
why am I listening to this?

Shame and fear shadow my night
simply because the lock caught
when it wasn’t supposed to.
I know, I checked.

The door creaks open
“Are you alright?”
I nod my head.
“Come back to bed, it’s cold out here.”
But I’m trying to remember
what it was I needed in the first place.

A Few Minutes Past

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