I THE SNOW MOON
Another year disappears
like a flat stone skidding over ice.
There are things I don’t wish to look back on.
New year’s day lies in the fields
covered by snow. I have yellow boots
and thermal longjohns
for walking out the cold. My resolutions
2 THE HUNGER MOON
I’m satisfied with nothing.
The cold continues today
and tomorrow. My resolutions fail
for reasons I don’t face
in a wind that runs through trees
like a comb. In the woods
the deer browse the red maple
and sweet-smelling cedar. In the village
they talk of snow.
3 THE WAKENING MOON
The earth is raw. The moon eats
the wet field. Crocus come, up like teeth
biting the wind. My brother’s death was an accident.
We’re forced to stop sleeping
and begin again.
4 THE GRASS MOON
Tulips weigh the air
with color. The magnolia uses the contrast.
We’ve lived together for years
from one place to another
learning compromise. This place is new.
Coming home, our steps
hard on the first green shoots
stumble in the same direction.
5 THE PLANTING MOON
I curled in the wet
until my mother gave me up
to the light. She had nervous hands
and lived in dark rooms.
I was fed pablum
until my legs were rolls of fat
and I cried until I spoke my first word:
6 THE ROSE MOON
On my knees in the garden, I weed
and pick off the dead flowers.
With a pitch fork I turn
and turn the compost heap.
I walk everywhere with pruning shears
and can’t keep my hands out of the loam.
A flower is an event.
7 THE THUNDER MOON
I rock to sleep
under the thunder. Wake me,
I can’t break the dream.
I lie between lighthouses
my lips tasting of fish.
I can’t move, but must listen to the gulls’
quick, cracking calls.
8 THE MAIZE MOON
He wants to be alone and goes for a walk
by the river. I follow
and find asolitary hummingbird
nesting in the hemlocks.
I’m willing to leave
but it’s too hot to pack.
Sitting at home
I wait for one last word from him.
9 THE HUNTING MOON
The neighbors’ screaming starts.
Minutes later, I sit up at the sound
of fists. Men seem eager for blood
after Harvest. The windows are broken
from the inside. Yellow jackets
find their way into the kitchen.
10 THE LEAF-FALLING MOON
Tree by tree turns bright or dull
in the air, then strips to the twig.
What can be done with hard October fruit?
I hear the crack of the axe ripple
and the cold weather sending the sap
into the roots. Alone
I study the subtlety ofbark.
11 THE MAD MOON
My sister distrustshe moon,
she says, staring into its light
can make you blind, her sources
are scientific. When I climb into the sugar maple
for a better view
she worries. Fifty-five fet up
the moon is exactly the same.
I put my faith in the rope
and descend from the highest branch
burning my hands.
12 THE MOON OF THE LONG NIGHTS
A marathon of nights
races toward the winter solstice.
I burn brush in the hills,
the only woman on the crew.
With a pint of gasoline and dry kindling
I can burn anything.
After lunch we stop feeding the fires.
At 3 we cover the ashes and by 4:30
the ashes are cold.