A Poem: Dark’s Coverage

When the night has sighed her last breath,
lain down as foliage in a diminishing wind,
surrendered to the day’s closing curtain,

we see her dense as a forest,
dark as the backs of eyelids,
and remember how

to float on the sea takes a certain trust,
and immersion in the midst of nothing –

just the weight of water and a carpet of stars,
our arms and a world turning silent circles.

That the night has a certain authority
in her quiet stance,
all our complaints echoing out,

with little choice but to leave undone
everything the day’s not enabled,
to accept the words misfired,
left unuttered,
fallen short of any mark.

For sleep to come we observe the dark,
how everything is swallowed whole.
How like compost it works its slow alchemy

turning leftovers to newly made life.
That in the day, when the sun is fully restored,
we find the light brings a full new wick.

Which we, yawning, carry and light.
Our every breath a new formed wonder.
Our every hope like a person drowning
who found that water could bear him up.

Yes, who would believe that under night’s dark coverage,
our strength once spent could be fully recovered.

Yes, to float on the sea takes a certain trust
and immersion in the midst of nothing –

just the weight of water and a carpet of stars,
our arms and a world turning silent circles.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
January 2021


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