Poem about light

Photo credit: chelle from
You can try to strangle light:
use your hands and think
you’ve found the throat of it,
but you haven’t.
You could use a rope or a garrote
or a telephone cord,
but the light, amorphous, implacable,
will make a fool of you in the end.

You could make it your mission
to shut it out forever,
to crouch in the dark,
the blinds pulled tight—

still, in the morning,
a gleaming little ray will betray you, poking
its optimistic finger
through a corner of the blind,
and then more light,
clever, nervy, impossible,
spilling out from the crevices
warming the shade.

This is the stubborn sun,
choosing to rise,
like it did yesterday,
like it will tomorrow.
You have nothing to do with it.
The sun makes its own history;
light has its way.

~ Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno

This is the last poem in the book Slamming Open the Door by Bonanno.
It is the first poem Bonnano wrote in the days immediately after her daughter Leidy’s murder. The poem, which was read aloud at Leidy’s funeral, is addressed to her killer. Although the man had not been arrested at the time of the writing, Bonnano was confident the killer was a man Leidy had worked with and dated. He was later convicted of Leidy’s murder.

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