Click here to listen to Eric Paul Shaffer read this poem.
All my friends are in the kitchen now. Dinner is done, the sun set, and after our muted admiration from the yard, by ones and twos, they rose beneath a sky gone dull and turned to the house for wine
or coffee and pie. Plates clatter, and cabinets bang, and the spigot
gurgles in the sink. I'm alone on the last step, watching universal
blue darken the mountains and the sea. Over all, the voices carry
laughter through the windows open to the cool. As I sit here,
I'm laughing as they laugh, and the night unveils the keen eyes
piercing the sky deepening beyond my gaze. I'm content at the end
of a day of joy. A new bottle is uncorked, and from within, they call
my name. The stars are far, the moon far from full, yet even alone
under these old stars, I'm not alone. Now is the moment to return
to warm, yellow rooms crowded with companions, to leave the owl
hovering silent over the fallow field and the ten thousand tongues
of the starlit trees to the voiceless and eventual work the dark does.