Waiting for the Moon

Waiting for the Moon

My heart hurts
when I read the news,
so I try to think of how
we waited last night
for the moon. 

In the mountains, it took years
to appear. 

Dew dampening our blanket, we reclined
on two lawn chairs, you insisting on reaching
over to me, though the freeze of the metal armrests surely
pierced your sleeve.  You don’t have to, I said,
but you said you didn’t mind.

We had done other things while waiting—
the dishes, the counter tops, running out every other task
to check the sky, but when (sigh) it was more than forty minutes past
the internet’s appointed time for moon rise in our state,
we simply sat out there, you saying,
soon.

But the moon did not come soon, and so you warmed me with
your arm, and we gazed at the stars in the still-dark sky, some
bright , some (very far) like the pinpoints of a possible
quilt, a couple actually airplanes—all would be just crumbs
in the Webb photographs, I thought, so
tiny, when still,

the moon wouldn’t come, and something huge
and round on one side shot through my vision
like an epiphany, brilliant and sure
but brief enough to let me know that you have to keep looking
if you want to see, and then, suddenly,
a searing rose gold curve burned at the crest of the hillside you
had predicted and I had thought was too far
to the South—

It was so bright we wondered if we should look at it
straight on
but we did look at it,
until the entire shining circle topped
the hill, the trees at its base outlined
in crimson. It had a rather sweet face shaped
by craters and its own mountains, 

and I said, very cold, despite the blanket and
your arm, I think that’s it for me,
and you said, yes, and as we went inside, back
to the kitchen sink, you bemoaned the state of
the world, and I said that we were too old to try
to fix it, that I just hoped we’d have no tragedies
at the ends of our lives, and you said you simply hoped
that we would commit no
unkindnesses,
your own kindness about the only thing
you can control. 

I think of this as I read the news this morning
that so hurts
my heart; that the moon did rise,
and of all the stars
in the meanwhile. 

************************************************************

A too-long poem for today, but there it is!  Am recycling an old drawing, that doesn’t quite fit, but close—it was a much darker sky last night when the moon finally appeared. Have a good day!

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