Now, daylight spent, darkness falls before supper,
votives flickering down the long table, and voices,
someone leaning in to hear, or back, to laugh or consider,
someone reaching over to touch, tentative, kind,
not out but over, across the dark.
It wasn’t any one thing you’d want to remember later,
a story, a gesture, a beautiful face, animated in the candle light,
the glasses refilled again and again, or how late you stayed, talking into that autumn night.
You’d need an old word for what it was, our commonweal.
You’d need that, when you thought back.
Miriam Marty Clark is Associate Professor at Auburn University, where she teaches and writes on modern and contemporary American literature. She is currently working on a book about religious and philosophical questions in contemporary American poetry.