Moonlight on lake at night

Why We Have Darkness

By Rob Carney

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Old Roads, New Stories: A Literary Series

Why We Have Darkness

So the moon can rise
and paint a brushstroke on the water.

So the birds can call it a day
and let the crickets sing.

So a shape can pass
below a street lamp, and that lamp

can wear a halo,
and the animal making its rounds

is a cat or raccoon, whichever
you prefer right now

since darkness is the time for wishing,
when the ear you lean in

and speak to
is waiting to hear. 

So the moon can rise.
So that sleep

can find us.
So train horns can tell us

that they know exactly: near
but distant, and never one place for long.



Rob CarneyRob Carney’s new books Facts and Figures and The Last Tiger is Somewhere are available from Hoot ‘n’ Waddle and Unsolicited Press. Previous books include The Book of Sharks and 88 Maps. His first collection of creative nonfiction, Accidental Gardens, is forthcoming from Stormbird Press.
Read Rob Carney’s Letter to America in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, published by and Trinity University Press.
Read poetry by Rob Carney appearing in 6th Annual Contest Finalist, 4th Annual Contest Winner, and Issue 30. And listen to an interview on Montana Public Radio about The Book of Sharks.

Header photo by Kirill Kurashov, courtesy Shutterstock. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.