Behind the leafless oak

a yaupon whips long


sprouts against February’s slate

sky. Green rebellion. Bits


of rubber insulation chewed

by the puppy. Shiny foil


and black rubber tangled in English ivy.

Our pipes exposed to freeze. Throughout


the neighborhood, oleanders and palms

freeze into yellow-brown spears.


Nothing redemptive

except the redbud will soon burst


into pink stars, and the brown nest

of ferns will unfurl its tender green.


Tonight we walk east, sit on cold cement.

Between telephone wires, Hunger Moon


rises full circle, rises over the clacking

BNSF pulling coal and oil


north in a hundred cars. Tonight

Hunger Moon shines salmon, pulsing


in earth’s penumbral shadow

of eclipse. In this moonlight we’re hungry


to be kind to each other, to accept

disorder and death as we stare into earth’s shadow


slowly sliding round.



Susan Ayres‘s work has appeared in Sycamore Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere.  She teaches at Texas A&M University School of Law.

Table of Contents | Next Page