It was a warm winter afternoon in the house on the mountain,
though you could tell it would be cold by night.
Sunlight was coming low and turning bronze.
High wind,and the power went out.
The kids and their dad went down to town to buy ice,
and I was here alone poking around for candles and trimming wicks,
and I noticed I was noticing the light change more -
every minute new subtleties of hue, more thickness
in the air and shapes entangling in the corners.
He threw the power switch before he left and told me
to watch for the lights to come on in the shed on the hill.

As darkness grew, I wandered outside to study the shed.
I found I couldn't quite picture how the light would look if it came on,
and I started to imagine I could see the filament, making just a little glow
inside the bulb, barely pushing back the shadows.
When it finally lit up again, late dusk, I was amazed
how viscous yellow-bright it was.

I walked up the road a way to hear the trees groan
and look at the peaks catching sunset higher up.
The light was still changing.

Severed Heads table of contents Brenda Laurel Tau Zero