In her monthly astronomy chat this week, Aileen O’Donoghue put a number to how much less light we have each day as September drags us off beyond the end of summer.
That brought on another outburst in my ongoing poetry project, “Light Year,” examining the qualities of light throughout the months.
Counting down toward the equinox, a few minutes less
light each day–hardly enough to notice really, except
that last week I woke to dawn and now I wake to dark
and turn the porch light on when going out after supper.
Otherwise, it seems the same as any summer day. Cooler
perhaps, in the morning–no longer the shirtsleeves start
to an August scorcher–but still, warm as a kiss on the cheek
in the full light of noon. I should have nothing to complain of.
The leaves remain mostly green, if a slightly duller green
from the recent spell of dry weather. Only the dying maple
out front, shedding bark and limbs these recent years,
ess-oh-esses its distress in orange and lemon and red.
As sunny yellow school buses prowl the roads to carry off
poor unfortunates sentenced to compulsory education,
maybe that’s what dims my mood. Memory–the other light
by which we see the world–all other summers winding down.