Mother & Moon (Reprise)

Joanna Streetly, Poet Laureate of Tofino, BC, ran a wonderful series of nature poems in April, for National Poetry Month/Earth Day. I’m honored to say that a couple of them were mine.*

For Mothers’ Day (I prefer the plural possessive, but there is a dissenting Official Opinion), here’s one of them:

Mother & Moon

Hummingbird fills up
the symmetrical cup
of her nest
on the blossoming skirts of the backyard lime tree.

She’s a scrimshaw ship
with her tail uptipped
out one side
and her black beak a compass that points toward her hope.

She blinks like me:
as this moment
she’s let me so close we are black eye to blue.

On an outbreath she’ll fly
in one flick of that eye —
but this second
keeps watch with the westering sun, and the moon

as she rises on time,
climbs over the lime —
the lonesomest
cumulus puff in vast skies — just nest-sized.

Every time I look at this poem, I feel like it should feel awkward, with its bits of rhyme and all the connotations thereof. The thing is, it doesn’t. It works. It makes me smile and also opens a minor existential gulf beneath me. I have a huge soft spot for this poem.

Also a lifelong soft spot for my own mom. Happy one-of-the-365-days-each-year-when-I-appreciate you, Karen Shepersky.

*Here’s Mother & Moon with the beautiful photo and setting Joanna chose for it. And here’s Spell for Blue Sky on the First Day of Spring, ditto. Definitely go browse the whole series.

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