The Delicate Sadness of Dusk

The talkative guest has gone,
and we sit in the yard
saying nothing. The slender moon
comes over the peak of the barn.

The air is damp, and dense
with the scent of honeysuckle. . . .
The last clever story has been told
and answered with laughter.

With my sleeping self I met
my obligations, but now I am aware
of the silence, and your affection,
and the delicate sadness of dusk.
~Jane Kenyon, “The Visit” from Collected Poems

As we slowly adapt to evenings spent with family and friends again, taking off our masks to actually witness the emotion on a familiar, now unveiled, face:

There are smiles and laughter again. We are trying to remember how to be ourselves outside the fearfulness that contagion wrought. More important: there are tears again. And wistfulness. And regret. And longing.

This delicate sadness happened – even to those of us who were never directly touched by sickness. We will never be the same, never so light of heart again, remembering what this past year has cost.

It is a slow transition to dusk. We sit together now and watch it come.

2 thoughts on “The Delicate Sadness of Dusk

  1. Finally being able to remove our stifling ‘COVID” masks that muffle and mutate our speaking voice and fog up our eyeglasses, allowing us to see and to enjoy the familiar faces of loved ones and others whom we see and deal with every day is a relief — a long-awaited, happy, overt sign of our feelings, our sincere ‘welcome,’ to each other.

    Being able to show affection by kissing (with or without erotic abandon) temporarily frees us emotionally.
    There are other ‘masks’ that we sometimes use to hide our repressed inner negative hurtful
    feelings or longstanding (social ?) attitudes. Some are emotionally protective, shielding us from soul-nakedness by baring such intimate feelings that we cannot nor choose not to reveal to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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