The sun sets early behind the black-green canopy of trees. It will not set for others till almost an hour hence. Dwellers on meadows, sailors on seas gain an hour in their day; lose one from their dusk. Should I curse the darkness, which creeps up early day after day, as the tops of ever-taller
trees make their own horizon high above the real meniscus of earth and sky? Wise Eleanor answers:
don't curse darkness; light a candle. Sound advice,
but unneeded here. For some long-ago gardener has already lighted one.
At the base
of the canopy of maples she or he, unremembered, dug in clumps of daylilies. Vivid candles whose
orange-intense hue fluoresces most (or
should that be floresces?) when, far above,
the sun is swallowed into undulant ranks
of maple boughs.
Optically, I know
what is happening: Invisible orange
wavelengths fill the vivid air
above the branches, even after the glowing,
cuprous disc seems quenched
by cooling leaves.
thousands of motes, droplets, molecules,
and cotton clouds, the ethereal waves
focus back upon that rank of lilies all the power
of the offstage sun.
In those few final moments
of the day-turned-night The lilies burst
with incandescence, Ending their one-day life Not with a whimper
but a fusion flare - candles lit against the dark. And beside each
radiating flower Another dull gold obelisk
lies waiting: And after that another,
and another still. Resurrection lies in wait
along the stem As it always does
for spinning Earth.