Night falling early: silver in the duff,
frosty small change, and in our maple, crows,
calculating and tentative. But I
don’t grudge darkness; I did back in my rough
and greedy youth spent wanting—deep in those
never-long-enough days I clung to—sky
whose blue coffers I prayed would never close.
It’s easier now watching the years tick by,
the seasons balancing their books, the sun
swift in his passage, like a man who goes
home after his day’s labor full of gruff
gratitude for the lights that one by one
rise up in welcome; glad of what he’s done,
but gladder still it’s done with, and enough.
—Rhina P. Espaillat