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Returning Home Late Sunday Night

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Returning Home Late Sunday Night

Pale bulb. High sun. At Friday noon

The porch lamp seemed a minor waste,

But in the intervening days

A darkness has replaced

My bright backyard. The weed-cracked drive

Advances into nothingness.

It's queer, perhaps too simple, how,

Returning home on Sunday night,

That light burns like a stroke of genius now,

Elucidating moths, a wicker chair,

The gate that bears a jaw of shadowed fangs,

And a spider's needlework in which

The small, shriveled skeletons of flies

Decay. Like props abandoned from a play,

Two unread papers languish in the grass.

Gravel. Latch. Hinge and lock. Each noise

Grows amplified. And suddenly it seems

Not just a weekend but a decade lost.

There is the flavor of frost, a cloud-scrubbed moon,

The rush of something dreadful yet to come,

Not sleet nor snowflake on the mounting wind,

But soon.

Daniel Anderson

The Yale Review

Volume 92, Number 3

July 2004

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