I know what caused
Grant’s Appomattox migraine,
or Sheridan’s whereabouts.
It was the slant light of April
nigh to the equinox.
The same light troubling my eyes
on this slatted porch.
It should fall gentle in this season
or so I advise the Crafter
but instead it blotches my retina
sears into my brain
wanders off with a morning
condemns me to dark.
I’ve no armies to command
but I fight the light like Ulysses.
In these seasons of change
the sun sneaks through the cracks
needles through the trees
flares even off this pen I use
to describe its dangers.
We live with an excess of light
and, when it is not high overhead,
an excess of shadow,
And if you raise your eyes
to look at it
if you go unshielded into the bright,
you will be felled
as sure as any furnace can fell.
You will await in some darkened, fetid room
the return of your senses
Or you will soldier on
anticipating that even in the cruel light of the world
some good news must come.