Sunrise, Sunset



Sunrise, Sunset



Outside my window this morning, a sherbet sunrise drifts slowly upwards into a pale, powder blue sky, floating softly in chiffon ribbons of baby pinks and melted mango, swaths of creamy yellow gently wafting in the new light of the sun. It is exquisite. It is a gift, just as are the winter blue sky and thin black branches and the whiter than white snow on the roof on the house beside me, the lacy shadows of lilacs on the fence, the glistening silver icicles that hang from the eaves. Why, it’s enough to make a body want to write a poem - or almost enough. To tell you the truth, I hardly ever write poetry anymore and that’s because I’ve learned that I’m better at this kind of thing than the other. You know, essays of no real consequence, slices of life, so to speak, sometimes pithy observations about the world and my apprehensions of it. Lately I’ve been reading the works of two of my favorite writers, David Sedaris and Emily Dickenson, and while I am admiring of the latter’s gifts, I’m certainly not in the same league as Ms. Dickenson when it comes to writing poetry – whereas I always enjoy the very clever, very droll Mr. Sedaris, and on a few occasions have myself managed to write something that could be considered rather like one of his acerbic, witty and self-effacing pieces, and thus feel a real sense of kinship with the wag, a term I feel sure David would appreciate my calling him, if he and I were on a first name basis, that is.

These dual natures have jockeyed for position in Sarah the writer for a long time now, alter egos, if you will –two distinct personalities living in one body, though not so dramatically opposed as, let’s say, Lois Lane and Superwoman, or those Fight Club guys whose names escape me now. No, I identify more with the poet standing at the fork in the road, considering both paths ahead of him – or her. My inner poetess/essayist often do battle in my writing, and here is a case in point: while searching the world of fiction for a metaphor, the writer discovers her reach wanting. She doesn’t really remember the name of the Chuck Palahniuk’s protagonist - or his alter ego! She knows she’s not the least bit interested in ripping off her reporter’s glasses or donning terrible French blue tights, skimpy one piece and flapping cape, though she would be able to dream up a backstory for Lois, revealing the source of her exhibitionist tendencies, for instance. Your writer realizes that she generally eschews existential subjects, spends little time fretting over roads not taken, and prefers to leave digging too far beneath the surface to the Frosts and Dickensons of the world. To just get on with being funny, if possible. To tell you the truth, if this were a gameshow it might be time for the question, Will the real Sarah please stand up?

The problem is that I’ve been living with both women all my life, and those close to me are pretty much used to it as well. It is new for you, I know, and hard to tell which person you are meeting on any given day, based on the pieces I share. You sometimes get the poet, sometimes the essayist, though I would sincerely hate for you to think I’m schizophrenic or anything like that. Ok, I know I know, that’s not funny. Or is it? Pretty sure I know what David would say, but I’m not so sure Emily would agree. I don’t think she had a flippant bone in her body, whereas his entire skeletal system is rubber. Bounce bounce bounce! A few hours earlier this morning, I stood in rapt wonder at the radiance of the vista before me, concocted the phrase a sherbet sunrise, then sat down to write at my computer. Got so far, then could go no further, because, really, what would be the point? To illustrate to my reader how beautiful the world is, at least this part of it? Or would it be to wow you with my virtuosity as a wordsmith? I don’t know that I really need to do the first, or that I really ought to try the second.

So now, about eight hundred words into this piece, I find myself once again at the interesting juncture of my two personas meeting; I will confess that these days I am more and more inclined to give free rein to the smart-ass, wise-cracking, red-hatted old lady in the purple dress who, while certainly tender-hearted and sympathetic to my wide-eyed-wonder, little-girl self, wants finally to ride her horse bareback, thundering across the plains, hands held high in the air as she whoops for joy, galloping off into the sunset. A brilliant amethyst and rich dark lavender sunset in a sky shot with gleaming golden rays of sunshine slowly enfolded into deep night’s blue velvet arms. And can’t you just see that old broad’s smile?!



Sarah Prospero


Sarah Christie Prospero lives and writes in Almonte, mostly memoir,  happy to be realizing at last a long-held dream to be doing exactly as she pleases - most of the time, that is. Sarah’s work has previously been published in the Globe and Mail’s First Person, in Canadian Stories, on CBC’s Sunday Edition, in the on-line magazine Story Quilt, as well as in Ariel Chart.

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