Morning Light

Susan E. Bartlett 2019

 

I awaken

in a room the color of butter

in a house

surrounded by live Oaks

and dead

Southern poets

 

Early morning light

like spilled lemonade

leaks between the slats

of dusty shutters

pools in corners

flows languidly under

the half-closed door

 

my feet

still cocooned in summer damp sheets

stretch toward the path the light has taken

 

As if it

will lead back

to a time

a space

a place

where this light lived a different life

 

When

it was as feral and intense

as childhood

 

There were

three hundred and sixty degrees of it then

 

An open promise

terrifying in its boundlessness

Electrifying

 

Life

Colors sizzling and popping in it

 

Colors

that should never have met

smashing against each other

in a fauvist landscape

 

Wild

disparate shades

writhing and dancing

before

marrying and settling down

 

Memories chase the light

swarm with it

like bees following

an abdicating queen

Morning light rediscovered

 

Is as delicious to the mind

as the taste of the first raspberry of the season

is to the tongue

It catapults you into a summer day

breakfast half swallowed

Screen door slamming your good-bye

barefooted

You leap two steps at a time

to land you on the pathway to delicious freedom

To dirt and gravel roads

worn smooth by tires and running feet

and dappled by puddles of sun

and shade

You run hop-scotch fashion to avoid sharp stones

to wild blackberry bushes

and creeks running cool and fast

 

You run with the light

until it is no more

 

Summer day duty done

 

Eyes closed

the day plays again

like a loop of film

until you sleep

and sleep

And awaken in a room

the color of butter

In a house surrounded by live oaks

and dead

Southern poets

Image Ryan McGinley