The dark embraces everything,
last night on the beach, looking
for Jupiter and Saturn,
winter wind cold on our legs and faces,
eyes looking up, at the chunky half-moon.
We even saw Mars.
It was solstice, the shortest day of the year,
and now slowly the earth will tilt us
towards light again - so swift, the seasons,
now that I am old, the numbers
climbing up so fast.
I emerged out of darkness, as we do,
as we all do, and strove towards
sunny days and blue sky.
Friends helped me, and dogs
helped me more, till my heart
healed itself like a craggy old bunion
that I polished until it shone
like a pearl and I taught it to sing.
I believe in the night, the poet said,
though nights once brought terror
and pain to a shivering child;
they are calm and safe now, with my bed
and my books, and dreams mostly
of moving into new places
that will slowly, over time,
turn themselves into homes.
The italicized lines are from Rilke. This poem was inspired by Wild Writing by Laurie Wagner, and Rilke's poem, "Night".