Night after night, I wax and wane, pour
all that I love into bowls silver-lighted along your
windowsill. I watch you bend
over, reach, touch each.
A jeweller intent—setting wheels
into gears with rubies.
Music for the eye to remember in the morning when you rise
open the door to the garden and say,
The leaves have gone now.
Only the Small-leafed Southern Maples
hold the last red.
I know everything we touch burns away. Yet
we give ourselves again and again.
Is it enough that in the end our two shadows
both silvered in the light we share
stand thus on the red edge of the world?
John McDowell is a poet, artist, and professor, and the dean of arts at Burman University. His poetry and photography have been featured on past Spectrum covers, and his essays have appeared in the journal. This poem was featured in the Winter 2013 edition of Spectrum (volume 41, issue 1).
Image: Unsplash / Nong Vang
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