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Ill Lit Blues


The lights come on so early on these winter afternoons;

The darkness creeps up early, winter afternoons,

And somewhere a piano is picking out a musty tune.


With less than an explanation you have taken your liberty

And arranged without thinking that nobody else but me

Will be sitting here in the dark like a granite effigy.


Well, no use complaining, there are a million people like me,

And everything as usual is exactly what it must be:

Character is fate, they say—I'm sure that you agree.


And they say love is easy as the turning of a page—

Haven't you heard that, honey?—like the turning of a page?

But they mumble something different in the back rooms of old age.


I'm not a first-time loser, I've been down this road before,

And once again I find myself standing outside a door;

But even as I spell it out, I still don't know the score.


Yet the truth is plain as day, love, all you need do is look;

I can see it clear as daylight, saw it in your parting look—

Love is a sudden emptiness like the closing of a book.


Robert Mezey



From Collected Poems: 1952-1999, University of Arkansas
Press, © 2000.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

by Grapholina

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