Choose One or the Other, Says the Light
In the light this remains this and that remains that
but at night nothing’s quite the same
and nothing’s all that different.
What if you had to live your days
in the dark? asks the light, assuming
it’s got so much more to offer.
Choose both, says the dark,
It doesn’t get impatient
if it takes a while for your eyes to adjust.
As a boy I stayed outside
till dusk seeped into my bones
and gradually I stooped over
from shadows weighing down my back,
a burden I carried upstairs
where I’d delay turning on lights
till I heard someone coming –
my mother? my brother? – and I pretended
to be doing what a normal kid did
at 5 p.m. – math, social studies –
though this was my real homework:
sitting in the dark,
letting it teach me as much as it could.