Thanksgiving Day Poem: Before Dark by Barbara Alfaro

A treat for the Thanksgiving holidays: this lovely poem by friend and poet, Barbara Alfaro, who has contributed to this blog.  It's no secret that I am an admirer of Alfaro's gentle poems; and she's graciously agreed to reprint one of my favorites. It is a truly happy poem.


“Home before dark,” our mother’s voice
trails after my brother and me like a kite tail
as we scamper to stickball. Sundown
happens too soon so we run to the blue
house as if our lives depend on time.
After supper, in the hallway, I hear
“She’s got to stop following me around”
and imagine his pals poking fun at
a skinny kid sister tagging along.

Today, I can’t help it; I’m happy.
God knows why.
I’m holding on to heaven.
If I let go, what’s there? Nothing
but memory and pain.
I confess I’ve been unfaithful
to my dreams and my stories,
leaving them alone and unwritten
in the distant shimmering house,
the house they burst forward from,
rushing and true. I have to keep writing.
That’s how it is, before dark…


Find Barbara's poetry books here:

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