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Night Piece

ISSUE:  Winter 1978

(after Carlos Drummond de Andrade)


It is night. I feel it is night
not because darkness has fallen
(what do I care about darkness falling)
but because down in myself the shouting
has stopped, has given up.
I feel we are night,
that we sink into dark
and dissolve into night.
I feel it is night in the wind,
night in the sea, in the stone,
in the harp of the angel who sings to me.
And turning on lights wouldn’t help,
and taking my hand wouldn’t help. Not now.
It is night where Jess lies down,
where Phil and Fran are asleep,
night for the Simics, night for the Baileys,
night for Dan, for Richard, for Sandy.
For all my friends it is night
and in all my friends it is night.
It is night, not death, it is night
filling up sleep without dreams,
without stars. It is night,
not pain or rest, it is night,
the perfection of night.
It is night that changes
now in the first glimpse of day,
in the ribbons of rising light,
and the world assembles itself once more.
In the park someone is running,
someone is walking his dog.
For whatever reason, people are waking.
Someone is cooking, someone
is bringing The Times to the door.
Streets are filling with light.
My friends are rubbing the sleep from their eyes.
Jules is rubbing the sleep from her eyes,
and I sit at the table
drinking my morning coffee.
All that we lost at night is back.
Thank you, faithful things!
Thank you, world!
To know that the city is still there,
that the woods are still there,
and the houses, and the humming of traffic,
and the slow cows grazing in the field;
that the earth continues to turn
and time hasn’t stopped,
that we come back whole
to suck the sweet marrow of day,
thank you, bright morning,
thank you, thank you!


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