The Moon Rose So Fast

By November 9, 2017Uncategorized

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The moon rose so fast,

I felt the world tilt,

like my mother’s Shaker settle,

not pegged down. Up ended.

Her flow blue tea set

sliding onto the floor,

shattered.

Tessie, the mare herself,

the color of a harvest moon,

her hindquarters as big,

as round as the harvest,

pulled stalks out of her hay bag,

Her chewing steady, alive.

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So I walked outside and watched.

It was Joel’s moon, the one

that will turn to blood

with a blackened sun,

before “the great and dreadful” Lord’s day,

a living red, a living light, like the sunset

that found her way into the barn,

peeking through a crack in the door,

a door I hope to open,

for Tessie to walk through

when the wind blows hard from the east

and I need to shut the door by her stall,

shut out the wind,

let her eat her hay in peace

without being badgered by the wind

and the cold and the wet.

I walked outside and leaned on the fence

looking for Bruce. The living blood

pooled behind Mr. Peterson’s barns and trees.

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The world tipped up, tipped up.

Bruce out walking the dogs when I do chores.

I looked for him, only saw porch lights

through the corn crib slats.

I called, “Bruce. Come look.”

I turned back to the moon,

not quite clear of the horizon.

Then Bruce and the dogs straining

at the end of their leads.

“Look to the west! Look to the west!”

I shouted a liturgy.

He looked toward the sunset into the darkness

and a few jets angling towards O’hare.

The moon popped off the horizon. Deformed.

–the scary lopsided moon

that feels ominous, always.

“It’s in the east,” he said.

And the ground slipped under my feet.

I was glad to be holding the fence.

My mind is gone

like the beloved dogs and cat buried

by the raspberry bushes,

and the other dogs sitting in cans in the closet.

With my mother and father and brother,

my memories are as far gone as the sun.

“Look to the west. Look to the west”

because that’s where the legends

say the dead have traveled

and the poets sing about the wild west wind,

whirling leaves and bitter loss.

Bruce and I  joked about it later.

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11 Comments

  • Bonnie T. Amesquita says:

    Katie, your writing takes my breath away. Absolutely beautiful.

  • Wilma Christine Guzman says:

    Katie:

    Beautiful poem – with many layers of meaning. I know last week – my oldest son noticed the large full moon so close to the horizon. I didn’t manage to see it at that time – but it could have been the same day as you were inspired to write this poem.

    – Wilma

    • katiewilda says:

      It was pretty spectacular coming up off the horizon. Thank you for stopping by and for your support…Good to hear your voice.

  • Max Frazier says:

    Katie, what a beautiful poem full of suspense!

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    Just wow, Katie. I think the best poem of yours I’ve read… startling juxtapositions, profound paradoxes, deep meanings of everyday things alluding to something else, and yet graspable today. Beautifully, poetically rendered.

    I love Gerard Manley Hopkins’s line about the East . . . the crimson-cresseted East.
    Thank you for being a faithful poet. Thank you for having eyes to see.
    Love
    Lynn

    • katiewilda says:

      Oh Lynn, Thank you so much. This was magic to write. I wrote a draft during Leslie Leyland Field’s lecture on what makes creative nonfiction. I was struck by the clarity of memory in one of the manuscripts, and how I don’t have that clarity. Then the moon rise was on mind, so I sat down and listened to what was there…Thank you for your support.

  • Joe Pote says:

    Love this! What a delightful poem! 🙂

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