Elegy for the Light by Rhea Tregebov

Poem title: Elegy for the Light Poet name: Rhea Tregebov Poem: 		Forty-third parallel, December   All this December as the light diminishes we eat sweet small oranges from Spain, their quick zip peels spraying tart on our fingers, small suns we eat.  I get on the bus in daylight, abstracted; spend some minutes absorbing the faces of fellow travellers, and when I look up, look up to a darkness come so fast – as though these faces had drunk the light.  And I’m afraid my face also has gone dark,  extinguished.  The streetlights are on, and I want to remember that the light will come back, that it’s because of the angle of the earth’s rotation, because we’re in the temperate zone that we have seasons, that things change and change and change. But this year even change has been disorderly. Today in December the air bewilderingly mild; my star of Bethlehem poking dumb green spikes out of winter dirt below the honey locust tree just in time for Christmas or a killing frost.  Smell of orange on my fingers, I step onto the rubber matting. The door opens. I don’t believe in resurrection. I have one life: what if it fills with darkness? End of poem.  Credits and Bio: Copyright © Rhea Tregebov Previously published in The Strength of Materials, Toronto: Wolsak & Wynn, 2001 (reprinted 2004).  Rhea Tregebov is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently All Souls’. Her poems have earned the Pat Lowther Award, Prairie Schooner Readers’ Choice Award, and the Malahat Review Long Poem Award. Véhicule Press will be publishing her eighth collection, tentatively titled “The End of Everything”. Her 2019 novel Rue des Rosiers, set in Toronto and Paris in 1982 was short-listed for the BC Book Prize and won the Nancy Richler Memorial Prize for Fiction in the Western Canada Book Awards. She is an Associate Professor Emerita for the School of Creative Writing at UBC.