It isn’t dark enough, not yet, they think,
to close the curtains on the coming night.

It’s dark enough and the air growing chill.
How vulnerable the lights look from outside.

Auburn, the look of her, dressed for a dance
maybe and listening for the phone, his car.

I’m trying not to give another glance.
Lit window thirty years back up that path.

As though time were as pervious as glass
and sight could change the future in the past.

She turns her head. I catch her eye an instant:
grey passer-by she doesn’t look at twice.

Curtains are drawn. Mute lights in roomless windows,
like friends I had whose love I walked on by.

from Edge to Edge: New and Selected Poems (Anvil, 1996), copyright © Peter Dale 1996, used by permission of the author and Anvil Press Poetry Ltd.

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