She had a horror he would die at night.
And sometimes when the light began to fade
She could not keep from noticing how white
The birches looked and then she would be afraid,
Even with a lamp, to go about the house
And lock the windows; and as night wore on
Toward morning, if a dog howled, or a mouse
Squeaked in the floor, long after it was gone
Her flesh would sit awry on her. By day
She would forget somewhat, and it would seem
A silly thing to go with just this dream
And get a neighbor to come at night and stay.
But it would strike her sometimes, making tea:
She had kept that kettle boiling all night long, for company.