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January

Dusk and snow this hour 
in argument have settled 
nothing. Light persists, 
and darkness. If a star 
shines now, that shine is 
swallowed and given back 
doubled, grounded bright. 
The timid angels flailed 
by passing children lift 
in a whitening wind 
toward night. What plays 
beyond the window plays 
as water might, all parts 
making cold digress. 
Beneath iced bush and eave, 
the small banked fires of birds 
at rest lend absences 
to seeming absence. Truth 
is, nothing at all is missing. 
Wind hisses and one shadow 
sways where a window's lampglow 
has added something. The rest 
is dark and light together tolled 
against the boundary-riven 
houses. Against our lives, 
the stunning wholeness of the world.

From Intervale by Betty Adcock. Copyright © 2001 by Betty Adcock. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.

From Intervale by Betty Adcock. Copyright © 2001 by Betty Adcock. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.

Betty Adcock