All the Hours the Night Has Left by Wendy Drexler

All the Hours the Night Has Left

What I’ll never have is close to, or nearly equals,
what I’ve had. I find myself at equilibrium,

which may last only a day—the mayfly’s
brief happiness—no way of knowing

if this is happiness or merely the acknowledgment
of where I am, skittering and buzzing and looking

all around, the pond by now thick with my own kind,
the water the halfway shade of tea light and twig—

it no longer matters I can’t see clear
like the elephant god, remover of obstacles.

The first time I heard a concerto, and someone
told me what makes a key minor

is the lowered third, I listened to the sorrow
for myself. At last I can name it:

brokenness, beauty, the way through.


Wendy Drexler is a 2022 recipient of an artist fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her third poetry collection, Before There Was Before, was published by Iris Press in 2017. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, J Journal, Lily Poetry Review, Nimrod, Pangyrus, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, South Florida Poetry Review, Sugar House, The Atlanta Review, The Mid-American Review, The Hudson Review, The Threepenny Review, and the Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and WBUR’s Cognoscenti; and in numerous anthologies. She has been the poet in residence at New Mission High School in Hyde Park, MA, since 2018, and programming co-chair for the New England Poetry Club. Her fourth collection, Notes from the Column of Memory, is forthcoming from Terrapin Books. All the Hours the Night Has Left is the final poem in this collection.

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