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.
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.