Before Dawn

Before Dawn

how did it get so cold—the darkness feels
absolute, but it’s only dark enough
to let the stars and moon both shine.

It’s not a matter of darkness anyway
but clarity, the sky clear enough for pinpoints, clear enough
for the blue arc of the moon
to be seen in its small bright bowl.

Clear enough that I can make out the imagined paths between stars,
the sketch of constellations whose names I’ve never been able to learn—
but not so clear that I can see the stone steps right
at my feet.

I bend to hold a concrete slab at their sides,
then crouch down the stairs, a sideways crab, determined
to get a broader view, and so glad, now
as I write this, that I don’t always care how I look
in this so beautiful world,
that I don’t somehow mind
the awkwardness of age, the steps one takes
to hold on, the steps one
is given, all those strange


Happy Friday!  The above drawing does not really go so well with this poem, but I like it!  It was done in a wonderful drawing class, Inventory Drawing, with Peter Hristoff of School of Visual Arts.  Sadly, the class is concluded now, but I urge you to check out SVA offerings in Continuing Ed (and other Ed) in future semesters as Peter will likely offer the class again. 

As always, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments on “Before Dawn”

  1. Helen Says:

    This evening when stars over Bend Oregon begin their twinkle … will consider diagramming them. Lovely write Karin.

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