Another word I love is evening
for the balance it implies, balance
being something I struggle with.
I suppose I would like to be more
a planet, turning in & out of light
It comes down again to polarities,
equilibrium. Evening. The moths
take the place of the butterflies,
owls the place of hawks, coyotes
for dogs, stillness for business,
& the great sorrow of brightness
makes way for its own sorrow.
Everything dances with its strict
negation, & I like that. I have no
choice but to like that. Systems
are evening out all around us—
even now, as we kneel before
a new & ruthless circumstance.
Where would I like to be in five
years, someone asks—& what
can I tell them? Surrendering
with grace to the evening, with
as much grace as I can muster
to the circumstance of darkness,
which is only something else
that does not stay.
Copyright © 2023 by Jeremy Radin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 16, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
“Sometimes you hear a word as if for the first time, a word you’ve been saying your whole life. I don’t know what in the brain allows the word, in that moment, to reveal itself, but it always makes me feel very smart and very foolish at once. This poem was written during the period when I had just gotten into gardening and was gaining a new appreciation for everything—food, nature, and time. I wonder what else is waiting to reveal itself to me in such a way, and whether I’ll be distracted enough to receive it.”