The Valley of Shadows

Where the light never reaches
Only faint sounds trickle through
Good company for overcast nights
Ramshackle meals by campfires
Slow-cooked to kill the boredom

A foreboding stream for water
Murky under the waning moon
As the pail sinks into the opaque soot
Forlorn sparks appear in ripples
Somewhere a hyena laughs

Worn reeds a pauper’s bedding
Ashen coals from the dying flame
Eyes close to caress the despair
The night settles like a frigid blanket
Narrow coffins await us there