Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Winter In The Beautiful Dark City

Patches of greenery and lights play on damp, dark streets
Like hopeful eyes peering from
Mile after mile of indifferent stone faces.
The plug will soon be pulled on these
The ritual is ending
Familiar, darker nights return
These happier eyes will close for the year
Our smiles fade into the shadows
The cold concrete sameness returns
Soon we forget about these lights
This glow we still want
But we are trained to wait for these
We cannot keep them forever
We are told
Or we might lose the smiles they bring

Every light is needed now.
Every window, every streetlight stands defiant
In an aching sea of stone and brick
Unending pavement, quiet rush and solitude.
Every window lit above in a mountain of concrete and steel
Says "Remember me! I am still here! This light is human too."
These windows glow, scattered in the dark sky
Not in a mass, but in their own loneliness, their own hope.
We are grateful for the restaurant signs, the lure of shops
People basking in the warmth within
We welcome less gratefully
Glowing plastic monoliths of pizza parlors, liquor stores,
Donut shops and dry cleaner signs.

The days grow longer, the nights have a much deeper darkness
Unique to this urban Winter
A tension, a palpable anxiety flows from the dark
We are bundled against the cold
We step over icy dangers
Even as our frosty breaths hang before us
Reminding us of Winters when we breathe no more

A shaft of dread passes through us this new year
New darkness casts long shadows on us
Even the days ahead seem darker now
For now we become the shadows
Even as we hope our fears wither in daylight
The Holidays are over
The dark city stands over us
No we turn on the lights where we live
Until we overtake the darkness
We must pull our own suns higher and higher

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