Allison Funk - “Appearance at Dusk”

Between midday and midnight,
the scales just so.
Too late for shadows

she disturbed the equilibrium
of dusk so little as she passed,
I doubted the murky air

had moved at all. You know
in water when something stirs up
the bottom, a could of sediment rises--

I questioned if anything happened,
and then she was there,
my answer, where the apples had fallen.

I thought as soon as she saw me
she’d turn, she’d disappear,
but she bent to eat

the ripe fruit cast upon the ground,
her white tail wagging
like some domesticated creature

before the deer looked up again.
This time fixing me
with a gaze that left me fallow.

I don’t know how she put to rest
everything that eddied within me, how
as long as we kept one another in sight

windfall could have given way 
to snowfall beyond us.
Beyond this stillness, the heady branches,

were they banished?
Only to be sent for
when another spring came:

the hard buds; blossoms;
dawn on the new globes of Winesap,
Delicious--summer, summer again

amid the terror, evenings and mornings
when I’d scare, when I would have bolted
if love hadn’t held me here.

“Appearance at Dusk” appeared in The Knot Garden (Sheep Meadow Press, 2002). Copyright © 2002 by Allison Funk.