The Shortest Day

Somewhere amidst the day the sun disappeared,
Emitting no longer the rays it was expected to
As clouds and pervasive grey cloaked the day,
Slowly squeezing us into packets of clothes,
Only noses emerging for sharp gusts of air.
Next to the moon’s dark side or an eclipse this was,
At least for now, the closest we’d come to total blackout.
Lethargic balls of stunted motion, we moved on,
About our days, huddled in holes where the warmth made up
For the complete lack of light, the survival instinct driving us
Further and further from open windows. In corners we sat,
Each in his own cavern of self-protection, enveloped in
Clothes – the most layers we had on hand – shells and cells
To keep off the force of the cold, scarves wrapped like
Igloos and coats rising tent-like around our neck’s battlements,
Vital signs somewhere palpitating under layers of ice, just
Enough blood pulsing beneath in channels not yet frozen.
Did we even see the sun that day?
If we did, the night-time of 4pm made us forget,
Swarthy strokes of black paint across the horizon
Of the day’s dull canvas. Driving home, the road
Ran ocean-current-like through the twilight zone of sky,
Darting cars like anxious eels cut through the waves,
Every streetlight a beacon and our spirits gasping divers
Rising, as the day died, for quick gulps of latent light.

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