Eyes Are Incorrigible Optimists
Ever notice how at dusk in late autumn
your eyes, alarmed by the early dark,
begin to home in on lighted windows, flitting
to their flaxen glow as eagerly as sparrows to corn?
What they get usually is
disappointment so common you hardly notice:
glimpse of someone reading or cooking,
children silhouetted by a TV screen,
or not even that — a room as emptily lit
as your eyes are, just looking.
But often enough, never enough,
a random glance snares some delight:
a young ballerina twirling in slow motion,
fingers touching overhead: brown skin,
red leotards, black hair pulled back
so tight it gleams: her leg kicks up
impossibly high, slowly descends,
then gazelle-like she leaps,
leaving you agape at the pale ceiling
of a dance school two floors up.
You’d never noticed it before.
It’s on your way home from work, so that
time and again now time stops — at the last second
before turning the corner you find yourself
looking up and back: hopeful, expectant.