Let’s Not Ask for the Stars

A girl and a boy went out one Saturday night

to see the moon parade her amber gown.

There were no curtains fixed above the stage;

the lady stood there, naked, unashamed,

and slowly, slowly drew the veil across.

Two small children in an upper room

joined their contemplation. A man stood in his doorway

hands in pockets, though the night

was fine for March. The world held its breath.

The sky dried its eyes. Weekend party girls

tottered to their taxi, unaware

a miracle was happening overhead.

They would be nine years older when the moon

was overshadowed by the earth again

and such a cloudless sky not guaranteed.

A girl and a boy sat patient on a red brick wall

until the lady, clothed in chiffon shroud

had finished with her strip-tease in reverse.

‘Funny,’ he said, ‘not one star tonight.’

She laughed and, Bette Davis-like, replied:

‘Let’s not ask for the stars; we have the moon.’

First published in Reach

Total eclipse of the moon, March 3 2007







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