Susan Ayres: “Midwinter Eclipse”


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.

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