Darklight

Rosanna Warren

The moon dragged her string-net bag of shadows through the boughs
as we felt our way along
the night road, gravel crackling
under our feet: the stream
in the gully gnashed dark thoughts about the rocks
and we steered
by treetops, tall spruces with their necromancers’ sleeves,
white pines raising arms in
supplication, celebration, who could tell:
from the meadow we’d seen
Cassiopeia’s maternal zigzag: hard to lose
a daughter to sea monster, then to bridegroom, but all
that family sorrow now
twinkles quietly in the enormous sky: everyone
in place, father, mother, daughter reaching
starry arms to hero husband: here on earth
the mother bear at twilight
heaved a rock over with a single
shove and scooped carefully for grubs
while the pointy-nosed cub sat on its haunches.
Coal black, the bears, and the mountain laurel in bloom
lay like a drift of summer snow.

Rosanna Warren is the author of several collections of poetry, including Earthworks: Selected Poems, Ghost in a Red Hat, and Departure.
Originally published:
April 1, 2018

Featured

A Faceless Compass

Johannesburg’s haunted streets
Ivan Vladislavić

Case Studies

A critic tracks herself
Margo Jefferson

Geoff Dyer

The essayist on not having a career
James Surowiecki

You Might Also Like

Baggy-arsed country

Jacques Moulin
and
David Ball

Sestina

William Virgil Davis

Subscribe

New perspectives, enduring writing. Join a conversation 200 years in the making. Subscribe to our print journal and receive four beautiful issues per year.
Subscribe