Listening to the Lamp

The glass has lavendered with age
but now the flickering wicks reflect
on brass reburnished after years
of verdigrised neglect.
They waver through the shade
and mottled light
casts rings around the walls and feebly fades
the edge of night.

And beacons in the sounds that shared
the evenings in the time before
the years had speeded and the green
had gone. Such lamp-light poured
from kitchen windows. There,
where windmills creaked
and pumps thumped rhythms on the thickening air
the crickets beat

through cluttered dusk. At daylight’s end
the sounds wound home. The truck bumped past
the cattle-ramp. Gates scraped –
porch floor-boards squeaked. At last
doors slammed the dark out. When
the lamp-light ran
round low, slow, anecdotic voices then —
the night began.

*
Now I turn the flame low,
lift the globe and cup my hand
behind the glass and blow
the past out. Wicks have burned
to silence and
today returns.

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