Kay Ryan, “Cloud”

Cloud (from Poetry Feb. 2010)
Kay Ryan

A blue stain
creeps across
the deep pile
of the evergreens.
From inside the
forest it seems
like an interior
matter, something
wholly to do
with trees, a color
passed from one
to another, a
requirement
to which they
submit unflinchingly
like soldiers or
brave people
getting older.
Then the sun
comes back and
it’s totally over.

Comment:

The cloud is in front of the sun. The speaker does not see the sun nor the cloud directly. “The deep pile of the evergreens:” this is darkness, the shapes only interrupted by a “stain” of blue. “Creeps across:” these dark beings, if you will, are static. No wonder the speaker refers to the color as one “passed.” The dark shapes have no color; time either is not or may have been.

Is the darkness nothing but shapes with blueness – some limited brightness – between them? The sunlight streams and the shapes are revealed. They – brave, whether old or young – are green, the color of hope. They are definitely grounded. Time is back, we recognize the momentary. The sky as a distinct entity has now been revealed. What was that clouded vision, exactly?

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