Slow Train

The headlight of night’s slow train
bends over the ridge without sound—
no rumble, click or horn to hear

Day is silently overcome
as stars persevere

Night casts its shadow blanket
almost furtively. I count on its obscurity

I hear the river over the dam
tumble as night rolls and never see it
but love night and thank it
because its dream face is present’s shape,
because it gives space to unload daylight’s haul
while I sit on its tailgate resting,
listening to the scuffle of other souls in an undergrowth
wide and deep as the hole at the center of the universe
rustling leaves, scratching, nesting
being true as anything seen in light
at sun’s behesting

Night is not a willful hider,
but does what it must as things revolve
Night is a negative provider
spinning threads from now to past,

a shadow spider, web spun wide
dusk to dawn, which snags deepest past
—the brilliant bits of it that daylight hides

by Jim Culleny

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