Nine One One

This day with one more hour of light.
The clock turned forward and length of shadows
from the pier stretched over blue waters. As if

the world were granted a few more frames
of movement. Along this road
we watch hours fade into a wash of leaves

and grass on the hill. We feel
a space inside, something undone.
There is a tapping at the window, and the curtains fill

with a breeze that has not blown
in days. The man taken last night in an ambulance
has not returned. A vague sound

ticks from the gutter. Our eyes follow the light
because it is not to be feared.
In the dark, there are strange outlines and sirens

are out of key, reducing words under breath
to prayer. They have entered
one of our lives, casting it

into the unnavigable. Listen,
beneath the silence moving out from trees
and spreading over the last hint of a city in light,

a whining builds. So faint
it mixes with the drone of a refrigerator, then rises
as the last sound any one of us might remember hearing.


Poems by Richard Callin:

A New Life
Nine One One
Touring County Mayo, Eire
The Buick
How I'll Tell Him
A Story
Water Wheel

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets