Today's poem is by Jane Augustine

At 5:45 p.m. before Good Friday on East 18th Street

To close the book:
         regret, accept the sun's decline
behind the hospital tower.

To open another book:
         meet morning sun with denial
of afternoon. The gold lilies flower

long in a pale green vase,
         longer than expected, a sturdy
buddha-bronze gold

that oxidizes slowly.
         Ink also lasts long on closed pages.
To read invites decay

as exposure to light ruins fine art.
         Still, one wants always to keep on
reading by a good night light

till the book must drop away —
         Infuriating even to think
of tiring. It is still day.

The sun still shines on Horn Peak.
         Wind riffles the watercolor paper.
Another painting to be made.

Underground, wild iris, fleur de lys,
         deepen their blue. Soon
it will cover the mountain.

Copyright © 2003 Jane Augustine All rights reserved
from Arbor Vitae
Marsh Hawk Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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