that dusk which is the start of deadly night

when darkness hides our evils and fears

and men surrender to folly and violence


that dusk, the gentle laying of a robe of pink

over a hot day of white sun or endless storms

that covered the roiling sky black at noon


with wind howling and rain lashing at faces;

that dusk the delicate hand of rest when the air

finally cools down the washes and gullies


where the heat still reflects, rocks warm to touch,

this breath of evening air relieves the oppression

and we can afford to move now before that dark


sky arrives, watch the light fade, a draining of all

the travails of the day, a promise that shadows

will melt, creation arise on the morrow, whether


sodden or sultry it will be as unprecedented as

a clean sun rising over all our waste and wild

spaces, dusk a distant matter of perspective.


by Emily Strauss


Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college Over 350 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. She is both a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. The natural world of the American West is generally her framework; she also considers the narratives of people and places around her. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.


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