In The Waning

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 HorizonsArion, and Twisted Moon, among others. More can be found at