The Girl in the Window
18 July 2005
At midnight, in darkness, he saw her face
in the window, surrounded by the blackened night,
the silhouette of a young girl.
can sometimes be triggered by such apparitions
or feelings of responsibility.
He had given blankets to the Indians,
smallpox gifts from Sir Jeffrey Amherst,
and watched as death stripped them of love and life.
But he felt no guilt.
Had not God made the Indians weak
and the British strong?
No vision from the ether could break his spirit
or make him question his loyalties
or doubt the wisdom of his commanding general.
Nothing visible or invisible
or anything in between
could shake his hard confidence
as he slowly turned toward the window pane.
His heart thumping in his chest.
His shirt sticking to his breast,
beads of perspiration continued to fall
down his face and neck
like tiny water balls of annihilation
ravaging every village
of his solace and his calm
like a disease that will not let his nerves rest
and which, in each moment, thwarts
his efforts to return to his Bible.
So he turned deliberately to the window
and he looked at the blackened pane,
finding himself not breathing,
he released a gush of air.
The image in the window was not there.
Perhaps it was some dark dream
sent by evil spirits to confuse him,
the work of Satan.
Tired, he decided to return to bed
and put these night visions to rest.
One by one he blew out the candles
and slipped under the covers of his bed.
It was only then that he felt the pain
rush down his arm
and when he opened his eyes,
his chest now on fire,
he saw the shadow
where there was no light
and heard a young girl crying.
© 2005, Satya J. Gabriel