We know the story.
We tell it all the time.
The sun sets; the moon rises;
we search the skies for signs.
We see what we see
& each morning wake into ourselves,
remembering the night,
what it had to say.
Which of us, shrugging off
the passing of the hours
like a change of clothes
can forget the darkness,
the ready embrace of silence
at its edge, the fading of the light?
At dusk we sat on the lawn,
unblinking as toads, as darkness
poured through the cradle
of our arms like ink, the night
settling over us like a flat stone.
Nothing visible moved.
The least gesture may have
shattered even a distant star.
And soon a litany of fears—poverty,
blindness, dying alone & unloved—
emerged on the grass one
by one like squirrels, their jaws
gnawing at acorns held
in their paws like worry beads,
poised to scatter to the periphery
of our vision where all we perceive
is a flutter, shadow assuming
the shape of thought.
Growing edgy, we tossed a pebble
or two & watched them scamper:
all but one, who hopped
a few yards distant, turned
his dark eye on us like a gunsight
& cracked another nut.
© Sid Gold
Sid Gold is the author of four books of poems, including Crooked Speech (Pond Road Press, ’18) and a two-time recipient of an MSAC Individual Artist Award for Poetry. In 2019 he was voted among Baltimore’s Best Poets in the Baltimore Magazine‘s Readers Poll. He has had poems recently in Gargoyle and Backbone Mountain Review.