Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Every afternoon I'm treated
To a total solar eclipse:
Long before the sun sets for real,
It drops behind Porcupine Rim.

Sitting on the stoop of the porch
In the cold bright light of winter
When the lower sun seems whiter,
More precise about its shadows,

I get the full show from the start.
I see the curtain of the Rim
Slipping over the valley floor;
I watch the neighbor's house go grey.

And then my own eclipse begins.
In front of me straw fields still glow
And behind me the sun remains
Too glaring even to glance at,

But the shadows of the bare trees
In my yard, like my own shadow,
Hesitate, becoming lighter,
As if darkness were vanishing

Not gathering mass for the night.
The light is wrong in that weird way
That has nothing to do with clouds
As the disc slips down by degrees.

My house and I in penumbra,
The other side of the valley
Glowing red with late afternoon,
The snowy Rim already dark.

It's day, and the sun's still shining,
But falling apart, piece by piece,
On the stone facts of perspective.
A flash, and dimness commences.

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