First Witness: Clyde Evans, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
I know a man in need even in the dark, 
but I dared not offer kindness to an unclothed 
stranger. My wife kept me back, pressed 
her wrist to my hip and shook her head. 
It was five nights ago he washed in our pond, 
one cupped palm at a time tremored 
over his cold skin. We watched a while, 
surprised by his trespass. I’d say he’d run 
from something he had no wish for us to see. 
Fear is a private thing. I remember 
when our oldest was crazy with the fever, 
flinching at shadows on his bedroom wall —  
wisteria vines, wings of the last indigo buntings 
were all that was behind them. Even grown, 
he refused to tell the things he saw. Never slept 
in that bed again. Never opened that door.
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