The Chiming of the Hour

by Dan Albergotti
Albergotti. The Boatloads.The Chiming of the Hour
The low tone of heavy December wind moving through the attic's slatted vents awakens the woman lying on her side. She sees how the muted morning light drifts through window blinds and how her husband, who was alive in her dream, is again in the earth. This is the gray day that the Lord hath made. She hears the soft, rapid ticking of the clock beside her bed and how it mingles with the bells outside. The woman does not know why the wind chimes sound altogether different in winter months. She does not know what puts her in her navy dress and heels, behind the wheel of her husband's old sedan, and into the pew they sat in all those years. But she stands with the parishioners and mouths the words of the doxology, her whisper lost in the throng. She sits back down with them. Back home, she will read the bulletin and listen to the cable news anchorman as if he were a bothersome neighbor child. She does not know why she will not clean the tables and mantelpiece of the gathering dust nor why she has to check each windup clock before she puts herself back into the dark. Sometimes she wakes up singing.