If I Told You

If I told you
that I write
to stave off the darkness,
that I light each poem
like a child lighting fireflies
(if one could)
to keep the dark at bay,
would you believe me?

Darkness overturned
my world one day
suddenly, silently,
like the approach of a storm
on a sunny afternoon.
Clothed in darkness
like a thundercloud,
a friend turned stranger.

Darkness required no key
to unlock the door.
A friend clothed
like a stormcloud
entered my home
and left destruction.

Until then,
I never knew
such darkness existed.

When the blanket of darkness settled,
it was so heavy,
I could barely
pull my knees up
under the blanket.

Of course, even when I couldn’t see it,
the dark had always been there.
Dark nips at our heels
like a sheepdog nipping,
or like the undertow.

Now when I see
the first threads of dawn
tipping, overturning
night’s dark loom,
I reach for sun’s
first gold ray.

Day banishes the dark
and weaves the dominant bronze,
the red, the ochre, the luminescent air.
Darkness circumscribed by light.

The dark in the rug
serves only to showcase
a weaver’s choice of color.
The black of the sunflower
is only seed,
that once broken,
spawns stems heavy with gold.

If I told you
that I write
to stave off the darkness,
that I light each poem
like a child lighting fireflies
(if one could)
would you believe me?

That I store each poem
like a seed.

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