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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

Image by Free Nature Stock licensed via Creative Commons. Image cropped.

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