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.’