Driving woods this morning

chasing plum frost and redbuds

in the hedgerows above a carpet

of prairie phlox the lens captured

a certain dapple beneath new leaves

probed the darkness within deep holes

punched into the trunks of old maples’

broken shafts spiking from undergrowth

soon to be humus but this morning

yet able to cast their dark shadows,

deepen the gold of the garlic mustards

chill the fading blue of phlox

and yet as xylem and phloem fled

so did the dark from those chiseled caverns

lodged within the heavy coats of Angus

babysitting seven calves in the field nursery

coated the ditch water with velvet night

gathered in the murk beneath the bridge

to steal even the shadows

a flycatcher flits after early mosquitoes

sunlight riding his tiny wings above

newly disked soil damp from last night’s rain

darkness cadged in clod and furrow

rising like a specter to waft into open windows

wrap my shoulders so that I accelerate

to gain the glare of day as I turn onto the highway

still wondering if without the dark

would we know light?