by Gay Baines
Gay Baines

Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She has a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY - Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 literary journals, including 13th Moon, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Dislocate, Eclipse, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, RE:AL, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3. She recently published a book of poems, Don't Let Go.

Not the longest night—
that passed in a night-day
of snow and cloud—
but a few nights later,
the first inches of extra light
creep up each day.
In the west window
a cap of dove gray, daffodil
sky, and between two
chimneys a hot square of gold, melting.

We take this switch for
granted now, but we still
gilt the night—and even
the days—with our own,
blinking, shuddering imitations.
While we string them up, then down,
the earth shifts,
kindly, so that it seems
the sun, our chief friend,
shrinks toward the purple
instead of us.

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