Winter Solstice 2003
(Year of my Quintuple Bypass)

I thought at first
The cataracts had come back —
the sun glinting cold and yellow
over the tennis courts
brought out the Bollé glasses.

Nor was noon better —
the sun still low and stuck in time
as I drove on the causeway
to and from
the mainland mall madness,
gray gulf and sky,
whatever shred was left of day
shrouded in jaundiced twilight.

For once I was relieved
to see night begin
with Venus burning bright
and low like a jetliner
and even lower on the horizon —
the thin crescent of moon
slivering into renewal.

From darkest day had come
most shining night
and on this longest night
of my longest year —
the promise
of ever-brightening days
waiting to rise
above my horizons.

Joe Pacheco

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