At day’s end, the house goes quiet,
and though we may stand where we were
already standing, it’s no longer a mystery
what might happen during this particular turn of Earth.

The last light, on the side table,
goes off with a turn of its loosened knob,
with its familiar wobble. The room is illuminated,
then not.
The stuff of life is like that, isn’t it?
Suddenly faded, stained, aged. But the old
memories turn up bright where they will
and so often at night:

My mother, turning an embroidery hoop,
my father, a socket wrench.
My son, the wheels of a Matchbox car
the color of Coca-Cola,
one ruddy cheek turned to the old carpet.
My husband, turning the ignition off
under a tree with shadows in blossom,
turning to me with a question.

Portal night gives back a better sense of things.
By day, we turn to the endless checklist.
The dryer turns, the washer, our moods.
We turn good sides to the camera.
Pantomime bliss, and it turns real.
Our industry is something we do and do again.
Our rest, too.
So it is the night returns

a darkened house.
A dining room window frames deep fields of sky.
The Big Dipper digs into bright stars.
Pacing, I see the constellation move
off into its distance,
the handle turns
to offer itself.