Moon When All Things Ripen
Late August moon, its full face
brilliant in the blue-soaked sky,
hovers over morning. The thick air
of summer has lost its weight,
thinned into the cool dry wind
that will soon turn the leaves
crisp, chill the trees’ brave bones.
My daughter has gone to college.
I find myself standing in her room,
staring at her vacant, neatly made bed.
Why do I dust her table & dresser,
taking care to arrange whatever
she’s left there—a broken
necklace, half empty bottle of lotion,
three brown buttons—
in such precise places?
Why call the dog to come,
speak in low tones as she circles
the room, snuffling every remaining
scent? When I look out the window,
I see my daughter at ten,
riding her bike for the first time alone,
up the hill to her friend’s house,
less than half a mile away.
I remember how, distracted
by her sister, I returned
to discern only the rider-
less Schwinn, already in that drive.
O, that absentminded moon: Star-
struck, it has forgotten the time
& lingers with the light.
by Julie Moore, first published in Adanna Literary Journal and appears in Full Worm Moon (Cascade Books, 2018)
Editor’s Note: It’s when the imagery in this poem suddenly zooms down into exquisite detail (buttons, a broken/necklace) that the reader begins to understand the speaker’s longing for more time, an emotion that every parent understands.