Nox Borealis

By Campbell McGrath b. 1962 Campbell McGrath
If Socrates drank his portion of hemlock willingly,
if the Appalachians have endured unending ages of erosion,
if the wind can learn to read our minds
and moonlight moonlight as a master pickpocket,
surely we can contend with contentment as our commission.

Deer in a stubble field, small birds dreaming
unimaginable dreams in hollow trees,
even the icicles, darling, even the icicles shame us
with their stoicism, their radiant resolve.

Listen to me now: think of something you love
but not too dearly, so the night will steal from us
only what we can afford to lose.

Source: Poetry (October 2012).

RELATED CONTENT

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Campbell McGrath b. 1962

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Nature, Animals, Winter

Poetic Terms Free Verse