What Remains of Light

(This poem first appeared in Jones Av. magazine, issue IX/3, OEL Press, 2004)

February

And I’m walking home.
Layers of darkness
And what remains of light
Shade the sky.
Weight of the sled,
My small son slumping over into sleep
Lighted rooms lining the street,
Vacant-white and full of air
Or gold-warm and close.
Spaces that seem barely unpacked
Or rooms lived-in long, cluttered with photographs,
Rooms made small by love and anxiety.

The snow is shoulder high, piled along curbs
And at the ends of driveways,
The trees dark and substantial
Sentinels along the empty streets.
Scent of wood fires burning
Lingering trial of a woman’s perfume
Sharp points of starlight
Swept staircases
Narrow paths through deep snow
Leading to back doors,
Dryer vents, mailboxes, gas meters.

Moonlight sliding over the snowbanks
And out into the night.

R. Leigh Krafft

What Remains of Light