A Canyon Dug By Light

Early Sunday Morning, by Edward Hopper Whitney Museum of American Art

Sunday is the Lord’s day,
a day to lie awake and leave the curtains parted,
and study the projection
of our crested slope against the back wall.

What has become of our life?

It seems just weeks ago we played up on the roof,
our small steps kissing the hot tar,
stirring the eddies of air
that rose towards the warming sun.
We peered over the canyon rim, down at the morning current of souls
rushing down towards the Battery.
The commerce of our fathers
carves new store fronts under the red river clay.

We were spawned under that tar, one night when the sun was gone, the shouts and cries called to us.
We came with the next sun,
the curtains were signal flags that marked our way.
And when we could, we stood on small toes
and puzzled at the signs outside our window.

One day our mother called us down from the roof,
and when she left us she drew the curtains, and gave us all we had of him.
The returning tide would not carry him home this night, or any night.
All we have are fossils, carved from the light of his living
days. We have them still, upright proud on the table, today’s light
mixing with instance fixed.

Today we rest with thoughts of him, tomorrow the great wheel will turn, and the sun will rise on a new river.

This street is a film strip, the pediments latch onto the rising sun
and ratchet all of us one day further. Awnings unroll, and in the shadows
butchers cleave, barbers call in bets, and infants cry from behind the red tide.
The fireplug squats, the shoulder of it capping the same spring,
ready when the sun finally burns us all the way through.

Sunday morning settles quiet, a still time between the cog springs,
when the sun can wash an empty street. We draw the curtains tighter,
We hold close our friend, the darkness.

While on the street a long shadow walks backwards towards the rising sun. He comes every Sunday.
He calls up to us to arise,
and carry out our dead.

Retired software developer, husband, father. Student of history. Met Fan

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