Circle: Book, Hand, Book

As the light fades, no attempt to bring on artificial lighting. This is how “A Happy Birthday” ends — on the image of the hand.

I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride this day down into night,
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of a hand.

This is the last poem in the collection and the “ghost hand” merges with that of the reader who has the leisure afforded by (artificial) light to resume reading at the beginning which is indeed a kind of ending…

This evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.

The descriptive opening in the past indicative has great serenity compared with the optative of the closing lines — the hand trembles at what is intimated. And so we move the hand and close the book, for now, on this selection from Ted Kooser’s Delights and Shadows.

And so for day 2160

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