In the Waning – Margaret Wack
days of summer
we lose all sense
of what the light must do.
We know it crawls on its belly
like a dog toward darkness
and yet the days are long still,
in the evening
children call to one another
and the air is warm
with gilded smoke. We understand
the long nights of winter, we are able
to tell time by them, lay ourselves
down in the darkness and stillness
as in the belly of a beast
and count each other’s breathing
until morning. Now the day
seems to be dying for a very long time,
the birds are hoarse from singing
themselves to sleep, the fields sick
with bounty. It is a ponderous
interval, it agitates the body, it knows not
what it does. Thick as honey on the tongue.
There is some small secret panic,
as if we cannot possibly close our hands
upon the sweetness of it, know not
what to do. What the hour is. What
the season. What cruel thing
is surely coming.
Margaret Wack has had her work appear in Strange Horizons, Arion, and Twisted Moon, among others. More can be found at margaretwack.com.