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In Dark Relief



All alone, tonight my tree seems quite a forest.
Arching low above my window, its heavy spread
Of still leaves almost blocks the sky, so thick they make
The darkness darker, though the night is dark enough.
And quiet, wrapped in meditation, brooding on

Some inner darkness far removed from any small
Concerns with merely human night, or even those
Of other trees. My own tree broods as well. Its eyes,
Those oval gaps of sky, are few tonight and what
There are, are black and empty, staring far away,

Rolled inward, like the night, in darker rumination.
All but one. From one black eye a single star
Throws long white spears like icycles. Its long-ago light
Knows me not and shines, indifferent, over many
Other trees tonight. The star itself is dead

Or gone, perhaps, although the light has taken on
Its own life, and the white noise of a passing plane,
Invisible, can’t quite dispel the dark between us
As it draws away to leave a silence darker
Than before. But still, if even one star glistens…
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Submitted on May 01, 2011

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