19 August 2013

if I could drink this light {a poem}

Reflected in the pond were electrical wires
I'd rather pretend were not there,
focusing all my attention instead on
the late afternoon summer light
that suffuses the world (and me) with nostalgia,
even as I'm firmly planted in the present.

If I could drink the light,
I would choose a tall glass of this.
Golden and sweet,
an elixir of the gods—
for surely, if anyone has the power to
change light into liquid,
it would be them.

Zeus and Hera,
Aphrodite and Demeter,
and all the rest of them up on Olympus,
deigning to glance down at our little world
as we scurry about in the shadows:
our light is a muted pallor in the glory-filled brightness
they get to live in
as they go about their normal day.

If I am dreaming of Greek gods,
perhaps I am not as firmly planted in the present as I thought.

But that is what this light does to me.

I am by a pond in Iowa.
Just over the hill are enough cornfields to feed a nation,
but this light—
merely by sitting in this light,
my mind strays from practical details
like what to eat for dinner
and how the family farm will survive.

In this light,
I start thinking of eternity and heavens
and of how, if only I could drink this light,
I could see eternity in every moment.

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