Solstice Solitude

Solstice Solitude
by Laurie Benson
inspired by Mary Oliver, watercolors, 
time alone, Venus and Saturn.

 I think you see this too,

Venus, the only planet
I can find
without help,
now dangling
underneath a
smaller pearl,
like a pair of earrings
I wear to be fancy.
One small diamond
and a pearl which
catches light
when I turn my
head to look.

The darkness is
not complete, says
Mary, and I paint
the dark, leaving
a bright center
which says, 
"Don't look back,
come quick," but
I am not quick,
not anymore.
I have been slowed
in my pursuit
of leaving.  Home
now, always home,
and lonely.

But still,
in almost every
window, a single
candle burns.
I know you are
in there, behind
the lights, the 
hopeful lights
you strung on
your trees.  Were
those for me?

On the shortest
day of the year, will
it feel short? When we
all look together to
see the Morning
Star, being ringed? 
The memory of my
own words, "that will
happen when the
planets align."
And now,
I anticipate the
irony of that

Please don't take
down the tiny,
white lights, on
evergreens and
pines. I wait for
dark to walk the
streets, past
your house to
see the candle
in every
window, because
these are
dark times,
and you have
brought the light.