365 Poems/91 The Girl and the Moon (Rough First Draft)

The Girl and the Moon

Winter storms occupy the sky.

The mountain’s song can be heard

in the pastures, the wolf’s voice

from several miles away.

 

I move the deer southward,

chasing summer and her cloak

of berries and sweet flowers.

 

But a point comes when I

can put a finger between each rib,

and it is time, once again,

to sit at a strong, wooden table,

heavy with pickled apples

and mushrooms, black bread,

and glasses of cream.

 

I have missed furs under foot,

wood piles and pans,

stories and bilberry tea.

 

I mount a deer, his broad back

strong between my legs, but the Moon

has a yearning and descends from the sky

in a reindeer drawn sledge

 

My companion give me the form

of snow, and the Moon wanders

and looks, but retreats with nothing

but frost on his eyelashes.

 

At camp, the Moon returns,

and every time he does I transform

into something else, a hair on the tent flap,

a stone, a lamp.

 

The moon, in his search, becomes thin and weary.

 

I bind his arms and legs and he begs;

 

let me go

I shall turn night into day

I shall measure

the months of the year

if you let me withdraw

to the sky

 

The moon serves us still,

and nothing is quite so beautiful

or painful as watching him, for he is

still bright, like he has wept himself clean.

 

This poem was inspired by a Siberian Folk tale called ‘The Girl and the Moon Man.’

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