Mottled light is light slipping through leaves on a tree,
Or through a gauzy, crocheted curtain in your old aunt’s house,
Through a screen door accidentally left open,
Through the small, square doorways
Made by the latticed lath of an outdoor trellis.
When mottled light eases through the barricades,
A passing person,
Soften beneath the random, patterned pieces of beckoning light
That caresses whatever it falls upon, then enlightens
And releases its spirit in such a tender way
That you, the onlooker, never before having noticed
The supple grace and exactness of the moment,
Become breathless, stunned, almost alarmed by a dizzying calm.
Mottled light transforms its willing prey
Into something wholly other than it had ever been,
A transfigured thing or person, alive and fresh to an open eye,
Never seen that way before
And perhaps, never again.
Those capricious bits of light choose odd areas to illuminate;
A belt buckle,
A patch of grass,
A shoulder, just before its inward turn,
The peaceful, flopping tail of a sleeping dog
Swaying in and out of light and shade;
The glowing edge of a fading rose,
A rust stain on an old shoe.
___Muldoon Elder 2003