Today's poem is by Ann Silsbee

Nine O'Clock Ghazal

My shadow's not tame: this time of clock
it towers with dark, spelling nine o'clock.

A tincture of bells has reddened the library tower windows.
I cross the quad on stepping stones at nine o'clock.

If the night lasts long enough, vibrations may thicken,
yesterday's footsetps stick to the walk, but it's only nine o'clock.

Sand reports a lost wind of children, maybe sisters, who scurried
to cache their stolen stories under the oak before nine o'clock.

Bells are not the only music: birds, too, have something to tell of shadow,
whose time they mark by tune or no tune, more real than hands at nine o'clock.

Leaf piles fold the summer over in burlap corners for burning,
honey for the orange moths. Smoke lasts till nine o'clock.

A kind of permanence, thin wings woven in string capsules,
to be unwrapped from within, each by its own nine o'clock.

Weeks drop on the grass, windfalls brown and soft
with possibility: is it really nine o'clock?

No shadow's ordinary: mine towers
into night, annulled by nine o'clock.

Copyright © 2003 Ann Silsbee All rights reserved
from Orioling
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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