The Twilight (Sestina)
She’s sitting in the approaching twilight.
Her elbows rest on the arms of the wooden chair.
Her hair is wavy, wispy and gray.
It’s her gift to be able to sit perfectly still.
She rereads a novel from times long past.
She turns the page with a sigh.
Simply marking the turn of the page, her sigh
means nothing about the coming twilight
(that’s not yet here, not even past
the bay beyond her creek). Old and wooden, the chair
doesn’t creak because she sits so still.
The sky's not dark but its light is gray.
More and more the things about her grow gray:
the low wooden deck; the pylons that sigh;
the water, smooth and still.
Though it looked pale and flat before twilight,
now she sees dark grain in the weathered wood of the chair.
It’s almost too dark to read. The day is nearly past.
With the dimming light she thinks of the past.
Her eyes leave the book to glance up at the gray.
Uneasy thoughts make her stir in her chair;
the wooden slats give a sigh.
Now in the suddenly present twilight,
the air is cool, dark and still.
She thinks: that nothing anymore stays still;
that everything she knows has meaning only in the past;
that this day’s end is like her twilight;
that the future is only dim and gray.
Now the dark comes fast. She heaves a sigh
and rises quickly, a little anxious, from her chair.
The deck is in the gloom and the empty chair
seems too large, too heavy, too still.
The creek roughens, water laps at the pylons; they sigh,
more persistently than in the hour just past.
It’s much darker now; only a little gray
is left in this evening’s twilight.
Now inside, in the armchair (a relic of her past),
she can’t sit still. In the dusk the white walls are deep gray.
Breathing a sigh, she turns on the lamp and banishes the twilight.
Roger Stoll’s political poetry has appeared in Dissident Voice and New Verse News. His articles and book reviews have appeared in Dissident Voice, Resumen Latinoamericano, MintPress News, Black Agenda Report, Popular Resistance, Orinoco Tribune, Marxism-Leninism Today, Counterpunch, San Francisco Examiner, Jewschool and ZNet.