Poem: This is the Time

San Joaquin Valley fields

This is the Time

A November sunset
in the San Joaquin Valley
is yellow as a fried egg.
The sheep in the fields,
the weather-stained barns,
the tractor-high cotton bales
in their glistening wraps
are yellow enough to eat.

In a moment the light fades
to a pale amber,
as if the sun had already set
then returned with an afterthought.

I’m thinking of a woman I met.
I’m thinking of the book I’ve yet to write.
People say, “When the time is right…”
But how long until I hit
the pale yellow afterthought
of my own life?
This is the time. The seasons are changing
and I have little left to lose.

Wael Abdelgawad
Fresno, California

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