Sunday, November 24, 2013

November's Need

Stuart's House at Twilight
—Photo by D.R. Wagner, Locke

—Rolfe Humphries

Not now the oil-black shimmer of summer on the road,
But a gray glare, still glare, though, and still bright
Enough to narrow eyes against. We smell
The smoke, again, of burning leaves—how trite
A thing to say, or notice!—and the car
Swings to the left-hand lane, and on our right
We pass a truck, two kids in the back, and one
A towhead, with a casque of shining white.
The road-side stands have rows of pumpkins, late,
Too late for Hallowe'en, too small for suns,
But huge for pumpkins, seamed and orange, burning
Beside the smoother cider—jars, whose light
Flashes an amber dazzle, lamps in day-time.
With the leaves gone, or almost, sunlight blinds,
Reflected from smooth bark or bough, and sky
Is quiet gray-blue lake, or bay, as far as eye
Can see, or tell. Less color, to be sure,
Less warmth, no heavy shade, less green, but still
Not yet enough of sharpness nor of chill
To shiver for, or wind the windows tight.
So far, November's need supplies its answer—
More light, more light.