Elena Lee Johnson
When westering light shades into lilac,
Leaving a shadow of day, a glimmer,
A stillness spiced with fresh grass clippings,
Spangled with cricket song,
And stirred by trees’ goodnight sighing,
Then we listen, listen to the quiet.
Haunting and homelike, this quiet
Child of night and day, sweetened with lilacs
And cooled with sighing
Soft against the cheek, aglimmer
With tiny lamplighters, and soothed with songs
Of mourning doves near nests of pruners’ clippings.
Sitting on steps sun warmed, we brush off the clippings
Of care still clinging to our feet, and quiet,
For a moment, the whirring of worry’s song.
We feel awe as the scent of lilac
Becomes a yearning for some lost sweetness, a glimmer,
And we sense the brush of a greater sighing—
A lament, sure, yet illusive as shadows, a sighing
Over shards of glory gone by, clippings
Of promise bent and browned to withered lilac.
How lovely must have been that brightness, to leave such a glimmer
Even through nightfall, to play on the quiet,
Piercing starshine, an echo of ancient song.