Acquainted with the Night

For some reason, I have been outside after dark in my yard more than usual recently. This could be because it gets dark by about 5 PM and I have been cutting tree branches to length for yardwaste pickups on Monday. I do this by my spottily placed outside lights.

Last evening I was out from about 9:30 until 10:00 putting the trash and recycling out at the curb for pickup today. We have an incredible amount of recycling–I think our primary product is paper–and at least one 30-gallon can full of trash. Anyhow, as I schlepping trash and recycling out to the curb I noticed how dark it was (duh), how quiet and how few people were around. A line from a Robert Frost poem came to mind, “I have been one acquainted with the night…” A good poem, and one worth putting here:

Acquainted with the Night

  I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

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