An Inch of Light
An inch of light creeping across the dining room windows, Turning plain white walls to gold, to ruby, to dark.
“An inch of light is an inch of gold; But buying light with gold is impossible”
Old words, good words, these are. Older, perhaps, than Benjamin Franklin’s profuse proverbs As old as light itself, 爸爸 (that’s my Ba Ba) might say. Nodding sagely with the wisdom of five thousand years.
“A light-inch, a gold-inch-- However hard you try A light-inch, with gold-inch-- Is difficult to buy.”
Wise words for wide open textbooks, neglected In favor of dragon-worlds and star-light and fairy lore Calculus competing with Care of Magical Creatures Lucy opens the wardrobe door, and--
“Ehhhhhhh? Done with homework already? No? An inch of light--”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s an inch of gold.”
The sa-sa of the grains falling into the rice cooker. The slamming of the back door where 妈妈 (that’s Ma Ma) cooks outside To keep the delicious fumes from lurking around the house Distracting people from their studies.
“A memory of light--a flash of gold, Too difficult it is, To buy light, however much you offer.”
The shadows grow and I grew and the house grown quiet cold he inch of light from the last bit of sun Has turned to dusk and gone abroad Perhaps to study or to work As children do.
An inch of light is an inch of gold. They flash and shine, Are gone. An inch of light is a thing to hold.