I walk each morning through the woods.
It is my job. Someone has to do it
to bring home morning light.
I greet it in the glade where dew rises
to let my white cane catch the light.
Still fresh from rising, the dawn is nervous,
jerking in the shadows of the trees
lining my path. But my cane glows,
holding onto the light until it grows bolder
in the openings between the trees growing
warm. As I make the last turn home,
it bounds ahead of me, chasing away
new-fallen leaves flying up to my door.
By then, the light has grown strong enough
to flood my house, and with a flourish of my cane
I command it to do so. Light rushes
through the windows and around my legs
in the open doorway, all at once
nuzzling my wife awake while tugging
my sons out of bed as it laps my glass of water
without draining it. Yes, it is my job
to make each morning do its job.
I walk each morning through the woods
because if not for me, no morning would come
in this way. On their own, mornings would come
too bright, with a hollow light that covers
what should be seen imperfectly, imperfectly
or not at all, only warmed for imagination.
- John Lee Clark