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In A Light Time Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 12

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The alder shudders in the April winds

off the moon. No one is awake and yet

sunlight streams across

the hundred still beds

of the public wards

for children. At ten

do we truly sleep

in a blessed sleep

guarded by angels

and social workers?

Do we dream of gold

found in secret trunks

in familiar rooms?

Do we talk to cats

and dogs? I think not.

I think when I was

ten I was almost

an adult, slightly

less sentimental

than now and better

with figures. No one

could force me to cry,

nothing could convince

me of God's concern

for America

much less the fall of

a sparrow. I spit

into the wind, even

on mornings like this,

the air clear, the sky

utterly silent,

the fresh light flooding

across bed after

bed as though something

were reaching blindly --

for we are blindest

in sunlight -- for hands

to take and eyelids

to caress and bless

before they open

to the alder gone

still and the winds hushed,

before the children

waken separately

into their childhoods.


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