Why the Moon Still Cannot Sing
The jars of the lover are filled up with sand
and the Moon doesn't sing anymore.
Its lyre is recovered in the desert.
We discover that there are platelets in the Moon's surface
but these will never be recoverable.
Long though the dark has waged its battle behind the scenes,
there are still candles on the windowsill.
And all that can be undone isn't recoverable.
The platelets clash with our unreason;
they skim the surface with nobody watching.
Outwardly, the empty house is a haven,
but this will be on fire by the end of the week.
Meekly, the road winds past our disaster;
in the final hours before dawn a fire is laid
(so many flowers must be consumed by the doom factory)
All but recovered now, the platelets change
into the rucksack the Moon must carry.
When it is Wednesday night, and our courage is empty,
who bars the window by the door?
In case we are not recovered, the old ways beckon
while the mines lie fallow after sunset.
The river is unsettled; old ways carry a price,
for their debt is our courage.
If the tangled up lives of others are ours to pass by,
our courage is the asking price.
By dawn, the old man's fingers sift through the lies
our disaster has made.
In wonderment he must lie down and die.
Long though the dark has waged its war behind our gazes,
the children know what mercy is for.
Two by two, on legs of stilts, they hobble onto pavement--
their coin of passing is incompleteness--
yet the mothers are unbearably wonderful works of art
in a dream that is meant to go with them if they die.
Early on, it was decided how all the old women are unbearable.
If we sew their eyelids down, maybe they won't see us
as forces of nature will,
and notice each flaw above justice.
The breaking point is the mark on the skull between dawn and dusk.
Here's where brief courage might be found.
But the mothers are all silent now, gazing in intent
upon that watchface nobody looks on without a tremor.
Did you think it would last forever?
The wonderments have not gathered their clothing about them
and the coin of the hour is a full Moon face without character.
The deftness of science needs a flipped switch.
And a miscarriage of justice is all in a day's work to the untold millions
who've lost their verve on frozen lattes
and a box full of empty promises.
You were the dragon tyrant who slew the ancient verse maker.
And in this mark you left upon Earth, there is no water.
And no salt with which to view the Moon.
The gallons still will flow,
and all stars can gather on the forehead on the seventh day.
copyright 2010 The Poor Woman's Almanack