by Tim Lord
You have seen that soft, early light,
the gentle specks that float in it,
and seen that same light through
the diamonds in the fence-
A bit stunned to be on the court so early,
That quiet light you ride through in the expectant town.
You have seen the hazy light the island’s named for,
Just before it burns off, heavy blanket,
Gulls and herons looming in and out of the gauze over the pond.
You have seen the searing midday light, wondering why
Some days it keeps the surf down and slow and low
With its piercing strength,
And why some days it riles up the waves
So they thunder, and thunder and thunder
While you contemplate them over lunch.
And you have felt that orange side light
Through a hedge or garden melancholy
Because the shadows it throws
Are only that-
Shadows of tulip tree light delighters
Or porch sitter, sipper talkers
Who won’t be back this way again.
You’ve wandered the happy hour light,
The warmest of them all, late afternoon,
Watching small feet soar above the centerline
Hand in hand with befuddled gaiety and wisdom,
And delighted in their mysterious chatter.
And you’ve navigated those dark, dark no light nights,
When a bike ride takes your life in its hands,
But somehow knows just when to swerve around
The deep, shell-filled puddles.
And of course the full moon ones,
Where everyone is out and a little crazed
By the firepit or on the bluff,
And the soft light spilling out of the cafe or the garden
Sweeps you in, if not tonight, then soon,
For a drink and a chat.
And through it all, the
Circle sweep of light
that you can catch a glimpse of from anywhere-
Somehow often in time with the pound of the waves when
The wind is right-
And that one,
Let’s you know that you are here,
And nowhere else.