A Light
by Nellie Cole

I ask the conductor if I may alight
where dusk takes longest to ebb into night:
a platform still springing with the day’s warmth,
where gnats jig in the air like a thought;
where the piping clamour from a nuthatch’s throat
falls to silence, save for an owl’s warbled note;
where a fox, under half-light, seek out new haunts
in the embankment’s shadow; a doe and her fawn
nudge one another through the rail-side brush,
where fleabane and ragwort grow clutch upon clutch;
where I can uncouple from the track of my mind —
let the mind clatter on. Let me cross over the line,
where the light only now drops below the mark,
the single-eyed sun ever slow to depart;
where the evergreens gather up their shadows,
and pine cones pinch closed in the dark.