LUX PERPETUA--and you, my friend, out there somewhere,
still ahead of us in the light.
Christopher Buckley on Larry Levis
for Susan Elbe
A light that's glancing off the hickory leaves,
Midas-touched in the October sun. The world dims,
the dousing of a flame in the hearth. There's
copper and bronze in the trees, goldenrod
lighting the meadows and fields; squirrels
are digging in, storing their hoard
for the hard days to come, and bees return
to the hive, summer's sweetness sealed in wax.
The sky is still heartache blue, but November
is coming, with its afghan of gray, threaded
by geese, everything gone to seed.
Sitting by the fire with a tumbler of whisky,
I raise a glass to you, old friend.
So many words unsung: flocks of birds
gathering in stanzas on telephone wires,
ready to lift into the endless blue
at a moment's startle.