Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site


The sun sets early behind the black-green canopy of trees. It will not set for others till almost an hour hence. Dwellers on meadows, sailors on seas gain an hour in their day; lose one from their dusk. Should I curse the darkness, which creeps up early day after day, as the tops of ever-taller

trees make their own horizon high above the real meniscus of earth and sky? Wise Eleanor answers:

About these ads

don't curse darkness; light a candle. Sound advice,

but unneeded here. For some long-ago gardener has already lighted one.

At the base

of the canopy of maples she or he, unremembered, dug in clumps of daylilies. Vivid candles whose

orange-intense hue fluoresces most (or

should that be floresces?) when, far above,

the sun is swallowed into undulant ranks

About these ads

of maple boughs.

Optically, I know

what is happening: Invisible orange

wavelengths fill the vivid air

above the branches, even after the glowing,

cuprous disc seems quenched

by cooling leaves.

Reflecting off

thousands of motes, droplets, molecules,

and cotton clouds, the ethereal waves

focus back upon that rank of lilies all the power

of the offstage sun.

In those few final moments

of the day-turned-night The lilies burst

with incandescence, Ending their one-day life Not with a whimper

but a fusion flare - candles lit against the dark. And beside each

radiating flower Another dull gold obelisk

lies waiting: And after that another,

and another still. Resurrection lies in wait

along the stem As it always does

for spinning Earth.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.