by Tom Sexton
The lamp we leave near the door to light
the cabin if we arrive after dark
hissed and flared before it caught.
When it did, I thought I saw blossoms
on the leafless tree outside the window.
I was both amazed and oddly comforted
to find that they were only moths
that had come to rest on the half-dead tree.
When was it that I first began to long
for the sound of Pass Creek beneath deep snow
and the endless blue of unobstructed glaciers,
for wind that bends me like a sapling
and for those few December days when light
touches its coat of many colors to the hills?
—from For the Sake of the Light (University of Alaska Press, 2009)
Tom Sexton served as Alaska's poet laureate from 1994 until 2000. He is the author of fourteen books of poetry. Tom now spends every other winter in Eastport, Maine, with his wife of fifty years, Sharyn, and their Irish Terrier, Murphy.