SUNDIAL

The moderate drinker of Delight
Does not deserve the spring−

Emily Dickinson,
Poem Number 1628


Any forest in its fall
Is a broken slant of haze
Where fading seconds try to stall
The watches of their days,

Sun’s Rolexed and emerald gear
The dazzling clockwork maze
That times the ending of our year
With chronological displays

That mark the final ray of lawns
With inebriated leaves,
Turning fall’s last-minute dawns
Into spectacular reprieves

That age us with each passing sky,
That too much fire kindle,
Where stainless cogs and pulleys die
Around a watch’s jeweled spindle,

Where life is lost in loveless light
As the season grows too late
For anything but ticking night,
Or morning’s human counterweight:

As our wheeling shadow pivots
On the fulcrum of the land,
Where no single rhyme inhibits
The descending second hand:

Set us brilliant on the brink
Of summer’s unrestricted flowers,
Extravagant and out of sync
With the world’s unwinding powers

Until the final bloodless swing,
The disappearance of all time,
Lets the unsprung spirit ring,
Drunk and boundless in its prime.