Sundowning

Window light shines on a brautiful brown and white mixed breed dog sleeping peacefully on a red velvet sofa

We flip on every light again at eight;
that flimsy gambit fails at half past ten.
Dread varnishes her eyes. She paces, whines,
then starts to spin. We grab the leash and jackets.

In Druid moonlight, crickets—thinned by crows
and frost—replay slow chords. A possum silvers
through pachysandra; sleek suburban cats
are prowling as if dinner is in doubt.

We plod in numb, arthritic steps—uphill
at first to make returning easier.
Back home exhaustion tolerates gray sleep,
the Judas kiss from this indifferent world.


A.M. Juster’s work has appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, Hudson Review and other journals. His tenth book was Wonder and Wrath (Paul Dry Books 2020) and his translation of Petrarch’s Canzoniere will be published by W.W. Norton in 2023.