In the Gloaming

Even the kids remark on the darkness.

In our kitchen, the girls baking cookies after school turn on the overhead light. At my library, the little children play outside in the afternoon dark, rolling down the snowy hillside in their bulky clothes.

I turn on the outside light beside the door for the parents. It’s not yet 5 o’clock.

Around our house, a bitter wind swirls snowflakes with tiny teeth. On our red rug, the cats stretch, indolent. Through the vast space, on our heavenly blue-and-emerald body, we spin.

Already light is returning pairs of wings
lift softly off your eyelids one by one
each feathered edge clearer between you
and the pearl veil of day

You have nothing to do but live.

— From “Winter Solstice” by Anonymous

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

2 comments

  1. I hope the “anonymous” in the poem will have other submissions in the future. I enjoyed this solstice poem as I planted some persimmon seedlings here in the South today under sharp icy cirrus clouds.

  2. I thought this author had particularly lovely lines, too. Persimmon seedlings? As a New Englander, I’m sorry to say I wouldn’t even recognize these plants — sounds lovely from my icy view. Enjoy your gardening!

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