Night Drafts

Tony Sanders

Polite, intent, no fooling this time, because blasphemy
Doesn't follow Him, but the other way around. How
The silence of churches at bedtime can brighten a day,
A soul's day. How Barbie and Ken dolls from memory
Can lighten a day, even as the bad boats from upriver
Go down river, since that's what they do, move at the speed
We speak of with sublime direction. Don't listen too closely
To the thwack of halyards, don't point in the direction
Of home, when you figure out where that is. The true
Voice that is calling is guttural, lifted from graffiti
Off the walls or snippets of news that nip at your heels
As you rip bread and bless the pigeons. Gosh, onions
Or rhubarb should come to mind at a time like this,
But like the rest of us non-believers you're guilty,
Except for the sanctum of late night radio which winds
Around you like a childhood scarf, the one that was burned
Or snatched away by an older sister. Everything is happy
couched in sadness, or the other way around. The smell
Of pavement after summer rain means something
Significant though you're not sure what. These holding
Patterns we find ourselves in are guaranteed to leave us
Feeling outside of our kitchen quarrel. You never get over
The kitchen quarrel you weren't a part of but settled in,
Like an ice house on a frozen lake. No matter. The radio
Says everything melts by degrees, even you, if you care,
So the ordinary life you lead is ordinary, maybe less,
Maybe more if you light candles, or classy cigarettes
For that matter. Maybe you would like to be Russian,
Maybe the Canadian boat person on the St. Lawrence River,
Maybe just the whoosh of the air as it passed through
The tunnel after the rush-hour subway. You're human, you know,
Like the rest of us, you're stuck with that. Own up to it.
Copyright 2011 by Tony Sanders. Used with permission of the author.

Further Reading

Poems about Night
A Clear Midnight
by Walt Whitman
Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight
by Vachel Lindsay
Acquainted with the Night
by Robert Frost
At Deep Midnight
by Minnie Bruce Pratt
At Night
by Yone Noguchi
At Night the States
by Alice Notley
Breaking Across Us Now
by Katie Ford
Flying at Night
by Ted Kooser
Hard Night
by Christian Wiman
Hellish Night
by Arthur Rimbaud
Here and Now
by Stephen Dunn
Hymn to the Night
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In the City of Night
by John Gould Fletcher
La Noche
by Anselm Hollo
by Maxine Scates
Late Night Ode
by J. D. McClatchy
Let Evening Come
by Jane Kenyon
Meeting at Night
by Robert Browning
Mother Night
by James Weldon Johnson
by Carsten René Nielsen
Night Air
by C. Dale Young
Night Blooming Jasmine
by Giovanni Pascoli
Night Funeral in Harlem
by Langston Hughes
Night Songs
by Thomas Kinsella
Nights On The Peninsula
by D. Nurkse
On a Night Like This
by Michael Teig
One Night
by Mathias Svalina
Radar Data #12
by Lytton Smith
Rhapsody on a Windy Night
by T. S. Eliot
by Sharon Bryan
Ships That Pass in the Night
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Summer Night, Riverside
by Sara Teasdale
Summer Stars
by Carl Sandburg
The First Night
by Billy Collins
The Sun Has Long Been Set
by William Wordsworth
To Night
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
by Pablo Neruda
by Carl Sandburg