“Waltzing Toward Slumber” by Marc Pietrzykowski

Marc Pietrzykowski


It’s not a beautiful thing, not really;
It’s just the way the evening light
Sliced up by the structure’s unwalled frame
Signals the end of a day’s work;
And how follows an adiós
Hasta mañana to the crew, and finally
The long, liquid drive back home.
Or how tonight
You have set out candles
And made a special dinner,
Or perhaps your boss
Has given you hell again so we vent
And munch crackers,
Then go out and drink too much
and maybe sing

And probably cry.
Or else your latest test results
Peeking out from their envelope
Mean our hill is growing steeper,
And so begins another night
Of soft, rare whispers,
The invocation of future memory,
Warmth mingling until sleep overcomes us on the couch.
It’s not beautiful, but it is all we will ever have;
How the tears and the gentle hand
Pouring the wine
Etch the same lines into time,
The scratching of your chest
Along my back; because at the end
Of each day’s work is you, and at the end of you
Is twilight, and then another day, and then perhaps another.

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002


Marc Pietrzykowski: “Poetry has saved my life more times than I can count, and I’m pretty good at math.” (web)

Rattle Logo