It’s That Time

By W. S. Di Piero b. 1945
The silence of night hours
is never really silent.
You hear the air,
even when it doesn’t stir.
It’s a memory of the day.
Nothing stirs. Memory lags.
No traffic hushing up
and down tricky hills
among the camphor trees.

No foghorns, no streetcars’
shrilling phantoms before
they emerge from tunnels.
These absences keep us alert.
No rain or street voices,
nobody calling to someone else,
Hannah, you walk the dog
tonight yet or what?

Only certain things to hear:
The sexy shifting of trees,
the refrigerator buzzing
while Cherubino sings
the best of love is enthusiasm’s
intense abandon, a voice
in song that preys on no one
and is unconscious of its joy.

Source: Poetry (April 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2011
 W. S. Di Piero


W.S. Di Piero was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned degrees from St. Joseph’s College and San Francisco State College. A poet, essayist, art critic, and translator, Di Piero has taught at institutions such as Northwestern University, Louisiana State University, and Stanford, where he is professor emeritus of English and on faculty in the prestigious Stegner Poetry Workshop. Elected to the American Academy of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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