didja hear that
somebody cried out
I didn’t hear nothing
strange sound
who was it
oh, don’t think it was human
what then
maybe animal but
maybe not
what’d it sound like
kinda like a flute
in a way
oh my goodness
I just heard it
what’d it sound like to you
helplessness, someone in great pain
human then
uh huh, a cry for help
maybe a bird
don’t think so, no

we ought to go home now
why’d we come into the swamp anyway
don’t know
something just pulled us in here
that’s kinda strange
yeah it is
I think we’re lost
ssh, you hear that
yeah I did
I’m scared, let’s go
I’m ready, but which way to go
don’t know I just want to be moving
we might walk right into . . .
whatever’s making that noise
I don’t care let’s go
okay right you lead the way
cause I don’t have a clue

the trees around them
seemed to almost take on human characteristics
of someone moaning
both men stopped walking
stared at each other
laughed nervously
we’re lost
everything looks the same
don’t talk, just listen
they stopped speaking
stood stock still
listening for that sound again
they remained still
and listened
and listened
and listened

the following week . . .

“Oh, isn’t it so pretty out here in the swamp, Jimmy?”
“Yes it is, I’ve never been here before.”
“Me either, but I—”
“What? What was you going to say?”
“Can’t remember, but did you hear that?”
“Hear what?”
“Sounded like someone crying out.”

©December 3, 2010 / Jerry Pat Bolton