LE MAL DU PAYS
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
We find evening wandering among
The trees of the park: taking
His name slowly from the late
Afternoon as she slips into
Shadow, stretching a bit, easing
Her language of birds and insect sounds
Toward evening, offering them as gifts.
Lights begin to blink on
Across the valley. From here
They could be angels who, having
Heard the vespers bell, hurry
So not to be late for the last hour.
We can want no more than
To be here together, a witness.
Perhaps it is only that we have
Chanced to find ourselves surrounded
By the hour that moves this feeling
Through us and into the landscape.
Perhaps it is a knowledge of something
We had not anticipated understanding
Quite yet and so are still unable to
Name it properly that does this.
We stand together here a long
Time. Finally it becomes so dark
I can no longer see you clearly.
Stars begin to blow across the sky.