Night’s Crucible

by Lucy Brennan

The chatter and shrill of voices
fade, and in the window
the outline of a hanging willow
bleeds into a blackening sky.

If I could drop my arms
into the half-light,
when they touched dark
it would fold around me
its hesitant shadows,
gently, slowly.

Were I to resist
its grace
the hour would fall apart
helpless before me,
unable to warm,
unable to comfort.

Night would not be to blame
if it waited for me
and I was not ready
to step into it alone.

If only I’d let the day go,
let it slip through my fingers,
then night could return
full of darkness and stars.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 2