Night

Dark One, I walk the streets for half the night

And see my father slide toward the grave:

Look left, and death will enter from the right

 

Or jump on you from some tremendous height

No matter if you run or act all brave.

Dark One, I walk the streets for half the night,

 

Not looking flash, not looking for a fight.

A car screams through a light: a nasty shave.

Look left, and death will enter from the right,

 

And if he passes it’s no oversight.

He whispers: “Go, get all that you must crave.”

Dark One, I walk the streets for half the night,

 

Not looking for the very things I might,

Not looking for the years that you once gave.

Look left, and death will enter from the right.

 

My father’s crawling upward to your light,

I tell myself, while counting years to save.

Dark One, I walk the streets for half the night.

Look left, and death will enter from the right.

—Kevin Hart

Published in the 2012-01-27 issue: 
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Kevin Hart is the Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of many books, including Barefoot, a new collection of poems published by University of Notre Dame Press.

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Poem | Darkness

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