by Lynn Staley

At midday the light is the memory
of lightclipped grass, limbs of trees, your face,
all rinsed in a mild glow. We walk coatless
quietly. The thin sweet bones of the orange cat
house her less and less. To watch her collect
lawless kittenhood, sun, gluttony, temper,
and grave age into her still beautiful skin
is to believe lamps can be trimmed to last
the night and carried soberly down long still halls,
and so give the lie to an economy of loss
—grief for gain—
and be held in bond to a quiet place
we called home, and the year reckoned
by the quality of light in any room,
even now, even now.

LYNN STALEY is a Professor of English at Colgate University with a specialty in Medieval Studies and a number of scholarly publications. However, she is also a poet with roots deep in English and American literature, particularly the poetry of devotion or speculation. She has published in the Seneca Review and in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.

Photo: “Flaming Lightbulbs” by DammitKarissa