In New England, in December, the sun sets
at precisely four twenty-something each day (there
must be some who commemorate
it in that way, and good for them, but I don’t), while
the sunrise gets later and later –
past the sixth hour, into the seventh,
the morning darkness
encroaching like a burglar into the day.
It was just before five a.m. when the smoke alarm went off.
It was the batteries, I figured out, and then a bleary later,
I figured out which smoke alarm it was. Or carbon monoxide
alarm, more precisely, which is my excuse for why
it took me so long to find it, behind the couch.
It was just the right degree of cold
to enjoy my Salvation Army coat, and the gas station
is not far. Blessing abounds.
I am often up early, before the dawn,
as were my ancestors before me: a few birds twitter
in the distance, and the human generations too,
out from the caves, foraging for the day’s prosperity.
The Chestnut Market
glows warmly with all sorts of promise,
a man of gentle bearing is stocking the shelves,
and there is coffee, already loaded in urns. Kings
never had it this good.