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by Leslie Harrison

Today light runs counter to the season.
Dwindle begins as summer does.

The monarch is bitter with the weedy milk
and his endless, vacant nations.

This is the address of distance,
where distance came to live

in the seefar longlight in the shining day.

Later the storms grumble past
dropping intimations on their way to the sea.

Moon lanterns late lake as if
either had ever been possessed of light.

I’m sorry for your loss I say
to the moon, all hungerbelly and short flight.

This is the entrance to the museum of darkness.

On the hillside, the curated dead
are on permanent loan to the museum of cold.

Leslie Harrison

About this Poem:

"Solstice" contemplates loss and the passage of time, reminding us that humans are subject to the cycles of the natural world. Appropriately, the poem ends in a hillside cemetery, a museum of "darkness" and "cold."

About the Poet:

Leslie Harrison was awarded 2011 Literature Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Massachusetts, she teaches poetry and writing at Towson University in Maryland.

"Solstice" from Displacement: Poems by Leslie Harrison. Copyright © 2009 by Leslie Harrison. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.