Articles/Essays – Volume 56, No. 3

These Are the Hours

when birds disappear taking strips of light
      folded in feathers
night insects ready themselves
      for meals from leaves of rose and raspberry
the hollow by the lane
      pools with evening like water
no moonrise cool radiance
      but night itself complete
the old barns slumped in the dusk
      can straighten and mend
motes of dust through slats
      awaiting new light

the past trailing footnotes
      has a life of its own
not left behind but present day
      alongside all those undones
breathing toward futures
      the collapsed or unmades with regrets
but huge as the presence of mountains
      unseen in the dark
where trees line the ridge
      a procession
like dark gentled cattle
      knowing toward the salt lick
again and again . . .
      some with bells
that will mellow the morning
            and any harsh news

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