Today's poem is by Greg Rappleye

In Ambient Light

My love is so small.
My love is a bird fluttering near
a cut orange. Or my love is a moth,
coming again to light.

My heart is a one-room cottage.
Have you ever lived in a one-room cottage?
I paid rent by the week,
and the stove was a step from my bed.

I was grateful to be held by its walls.

Now I live near a cheap motel.
It's where people have affairs.
Where they blow smoke at the empty pool
and wait out the divorce.
At night, I see them come and go
under the sodium vapor lamp.
Sometimes I catch an angry phrase,
or a familiar song drifts
from someone's tinny radio.

The light casts shadows across my yard.
We call this ambient light. It's hard
to find stars through its artificial glare,
to see what else is there. The firefly,
for instance, crossing the black ribbon of road.

I find him when he descends—
haloed in the grass. With such a tiny heart,
who wouldn't fly from the darkness?
I cup him in my hands
and lift him back into the air.

Copyright © 2004 Greg Rappleye All rights reserved
from River Styx
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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