Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer.

In times of despair, when we can’t see where we are going, what will comfort and sustain us? We might, Susan Sink seems to suggest in this poem, notice and marvel at what is. Even “in a month of nightmares,” we may come to recognize, and then let go of, our despair. Being, then, wherever we find ourselves, can lead us into wonder, to experience the joy of living—even if we find ourselves in the darkest night. 

Tracy Rittmueller

What was the darkest night?
Susan Sink

It was in the woods in Saratoga Springs,
after a party with champagne and strawberries we took 
a bridge to reach, so dark we could not see 
the path, our own white tennis shoes, our hands before our faces.
We could see fireflies, a thousand fireflies, that gave
the dark a depth and height. No moon, no stars,
no light except those pulsing, love-lit tails
and the slow, languorous way they wove through the air.

Their flight was in our blood. And though
it was a month of nightmares, 
the month I learned I would never take my life 
and just how close I could come, I almost cried for joy
in that darkness. My laughter went up through the invisible trees
like birdsong, a flock of doves released.

***

Susan Sink is a poet and writer living on 80 acres in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is the author of three books of poems, The Way of All the Earth, Habits, and H is for Harry. Her poems and stories have been published in national literary magazines, including Poetry, Chicago Review, Santa Monica Review, Spoon River Anthology and others.

“What was the darkest night?” From Light: a Tiny Book of Lyricality. (St. Cloud: Lyricality, 2019) © Susan Sink, 2019.