Len Roberts

Country: United States
Language(s): English
April Dusk, Wassergass

Dull pewter light on the pond
with the green shadows of trees
     across the road,
the sky one big pewter cloud
it’s hard
                   to look straight into,
all that glare that says
there’s more light up there
                   than we can bear,
which makes me remember Matthew’s
The lamp of the body is the eye,
even as I feel mine burning,
spring allergies, I’d thought,
the pollen and dust,
the long days of sun holding on,
one minute more,
                   then another
till it’s eight o’clock,
my wife and I still out on the patio
     with a little talk
as the darkness filters in,
the spruce and fir and hemlock
     then the barn,
                   then part
of her face turned up toward the hill,
her shoulder, arm, my leg, foot, bit
     by bit
till we’re nothing but voices,
and most of the time not even that.


My son out in the dark
     picking the last
     tomatoes and peppers
he’s weeded and mulched
     and watered all summer
the night of the first frost
the TV announcer almost

so he went out with
     the flashlight
I watched him tuck 
in his jacket pocket
     to pick his crop,

and I wanted to ask if 
     I could help,
I wanted to say I could
     hold the light,
I wanted to say I should
never have let him ride
     his bike
what, seventeen years ago?
     on Wassergass Road
where the heavy Buick
sent him flying over
     a hundred feet,

his atrophied leg, his right
    eye lower than the left,
his inability to sequence
more than three steps
     at a time,

steps to write an essay,
steps for three time blocks
before and after lunch,
steps to solve for X,

but I kept quiet, sat flicking
     the remote control
while the door clicked
and I saw his light zigzag
     up the black
till he got to what we both
 was the gate, the thought
of lifting the latch while
     holding the flashlight
under his chin or in his mouth,

and third, the easy swinging out.