I took this photo recently, just with my phone, while I was walking at a nature reserve near our home. Only days later did its significance hit me — there is light not just after, but above the darkness.

It’s been a difficult month for people around the world. “Difficult” is the first adjective that came to mind, but there is no single word — perhaps no group of words — that can adequately describe or label what many people are going through right now. I haven’t escaped hard times personally, either, but the personal doesn’t seem particularly important as I write this post.

I did write a poem the other day. Then I thought: rather than submit it and wait for an editor at a literary journal to accept or reject it or to decide how literary or well crafted (or not) it is, I’m simply going to post it here. Take from it — or don’t — what you find in it — or don’t. That’s what poetry is, I suppose.

The Cry
Huddled in my warm, safe bed,
I heard a cry outside the window
and wondered what it was.
Maybe I didn’t hear it,
I thought.
But the cry drifted towards my house
again and again and again.
Human? Animal?
I did not know.
It sounds so far away,
I thought.
But then I thought,
and so…?
I leapt
from the comfort
of my soft cover
and pressed my face
to the window screen.
Where is the cry from?
I thought.
Which way must I go?
But the moment –
the instant –
I stood up,
the cry stopped.

(Copyright 2023 Faye Rapoport DesPres)