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Poem: "After Dark" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "After Dark"

This poem dates from 2/22/12, spillover from the February Crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from pico_the_great who wanted to see more of Solvig and Auduna.  It has been selected in a poll as the short series freebie.  You can read the other Hart's Farm poems via the Serial Poetry page.


After Dark



The common house is quiet now.
The children have all gone to bed,
and most of the adults as well.
The window is dark, its arched pieces of cut glass
glinting in the moonlight, the center pane
filled with dozens of roundels.
Potted herbs and flowers line the windowsill.

Solvig sits at a small round table,
reading a book by lamplight, her black curls
knotted and pinned neatly atop her head.
Across from her sits Hrafn,
who keeps the records and accounts
for the farm, his ink-stained fingers still busy
and his black hair combed flat.

They both dress like scholars,
even here where nobody has to
go out to a school or an office,
because he likes his tidy suits
and she likes her prim dresses
and there is something subtly respectable
about wearing black or charcoal or midnight blue.

Solvig reaches the end of a page
and glances over at Hrafn.
He smiles and reaches out to her,
touching just the tips of their fingers,
for they are old dear friends
and he knows her very well.
They cherish these quiet times.

The new seamstress, Auduna,
comes padding out of the laundry room
in her stocking feet and a green dress,
arms full of fresh linens for the kitchen cabinet.
Hrafn silently flicks the feather-end of his goose quill
against an entry in the book, and Solvig sees
that Auduna has settled with Frida and Karin for now.

Hrafn's wife Gróa comes out of the kitchen,
shooing Auduna toward the door
with a soft admonishment to get some sleep.
Hrafn closes his record-book, clears away
the quills and ink, blotter and pen-knife.
Solvig slips a ribbon into the novel
to mark her place, scarlet satin peeking out.

They walk home together, Hrafn and Gróa and Solvig,
to the little cottage that they share with
Hrafn and Gróa's daughter Borga, who is old enough
to bring men home but has not done so tonight.
It is dim and still and comfortable, and when they go
to their rooms they can hear, faintly,
the fond night-noises of each other breathing.

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