top of page

The Story of the Sun and the Night 
Elisabeth Tonsberg

when my daughter
first asks me
what love feels like:
i will tell her to look
at the sun.

with almond shaped eyes,
she will squint to see its gleam.
i will tell her
to soak it in.
each ray of heat
gleaming on her skin.

under illuminated skies
i will tell her
that love
is the feeling of walking
on soft moss,
the tickling touch of greenery
the music and whistles of
the hills
as she dances with tanned tones.

my daughter will do just as i did
and cherish the warmth of the sun,
arms cast open as she holds her hands
out front,
joyous to feel the slivers of heat on the slight
of her palm
and the skin of her fingertips.

until one day
the sun becomes too bright.

it will scar her cheeks
with reddened burns
and blind her until she begs
to blink.

a voice so terrible and small
ricocheting in
as she watches
the hues of the sun
purposefully slip
on the horizon.

i will say,
how the sun does not tick for you.

she will cry
for she
will miss
the colors of the beauty that engulfed her,
she will cry for she
will begin to slip,
as forgetting the names of the sunset seemed
to be her doom.

when my daughter
asks me
if this is what love feels like
i must remind myself not to lie.
for love does not fib,
but rather brandishes
a dagger of bluntness and dismay.

as the sun retreats
into cowardly weakness,
my daughter will shake
pulling on the threads
of my skirt
in fear of the darkness
that has helplessly
swallowed her.

squeeze, my dear, and
allow me to lead.
for the name of night
is no name to be afraid of.

look to the sky,
the beauty of the unknown,
shapes of
heavenly bodies,
stars and galaxies,
moons and planets.

do not flinch
when night leans forward.
and allow yourself
to fall in its gazes
as night will think of you
as the most captivating creature
in the atmosphere.

the night will weave blankets
of comets and celestial beings,
and heal
her wounds
with only the breathing touch
of delicate star fragments.

will she notice when i loosen my grip?
for i do not think so.

i hope she will see
how night will guide her
to trace the lines of each constellation
and the flutter of her laughter
will push and pull
the orbits.

when my daughter
by my side,
aged and kind,
i hope to see only a smile
when she tells me
she finally understands what love feels like.

Untitled_Artwork 1.png
bottom of page