Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel


Night in 1242

In 1242 people looked at the sun.
Let's have some fun,
Said Jane Terrell to John Hodge in 1242.
Jane was so little, John was so little, in 1242.
So they tried to pull off some branches from a tree, a tree that
      was near them.
John couldn't and Jane laughed.
John laughed back and said she couldn't do near as well as he.
Jane laughed back and said anyway it was funny the way he tried.
Jane's mother came out. Where have you been all this time? she asked.
Jane said: Mother, I haven't been out long.
Why, it's almost dark, said Jane's mother, and I haven't seen you since
     noon when the sun was right above us shining very hotly and brightly.
Goodbye, John, said Jane, laughingly.
John was rather angry at the way she laughed; he didn't like her then for it.
It was about dark now.
Very soon it was night in 1242.
There were other nights in 1242, and the sun came every time before these
     nights, and came every time there was a night;
So there were sun and night in 1242.
In 1242, there were sun and night.

From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems
© 1957 by Eli Siegel

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