Does beauty sleep alone—
that all her leaves have fallen in the night?
Her trees shivering quietly within their newfound nakedness,
and yet not so immodest is the wind as it caresses
the starkness of her limbs now bare.
Clouds churn in the half-light.
Rolling barrels of thick, black smoke spinning silently on the horizon.
Like oil upon water; they delicately contort the dawn
with the soft and wistful mutiny of their unspoken revelations.
The sun begrudgingly awakens,
his pride subdued by the currents of reckless circumstance.
Therefore, not but a shadow of its self, he clambers listlessly into the sky
treading the waters of his own light.
And the streets scurry with ocher—
The umberlings of motherless children chased along by the wind.
The air—indifferent, is yet sweet with their laughter,
and I am haunted by the inflection, as her soul gathers in the twilight
of my shadow.
Charles Coakley Simpson