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A Light

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“I’m looking for a light,” she said
without uttering a single word
The question lingered in her bright
amber eyes, glistening with a spark of dying light.

“I’m looking . . . for a light,”
was the first thing she ever said the night
we first met by the foggy pond downtown.
She was dirty, in rags, without anything of her own.
I remember I thought of her
as ageless, with only a few strands of gray
streaking her auburn hair.

She could’ve been a mother
with a family of her own,
but somehow I never found out
because her mind always seemed
to drift into a dark abyss,
whenever I mentioned "family."
Her amber eyes wandered, lost,
as she lifted her chapped lips each time
to tell me, “I’m looking for a light.”

I thought I couldn’t help;
I was just a fourteen year old myself.
But we saw each other every night
I passed by the foggy pond downtown.
We exchanged greetings,
a few conversations,
and at the end of each encounter
I confirmed she was an amnesiac
without a history.

One night I strolled by the foggy pond
in its usual splashing mist
and saw a dark form sprawled,
one hand stretched out above the head
as if to add a finishing touch to a painting on the ground.

Several feet away, I heard her, the amnesiac,
barely, in her hoarse but firm whisper.
“I’m looking for a light," she said like she had found dead
thoughts buried within her.

When she was taken away
from her home by the foggy pond,
she left a message behind.
Where her body had once lain
words were scrawled into the bare plain
around the foggy pond:
“I found the light.”



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