Moonlight Scene, 1864
His moons appear to be suns
lighting quays, ports, yards and ships.
Full moons casting shadows, dappling tree trunks.
His skies are groves
hued by purples and turquoises, signature greens
that lie between lime and grass. Vermouth!
We hardly see the woman walking
beside the canal wall until her child’s hat
becomes a third moon, riding piggy back.
Her second, older child walks ahead.
The woman’s hand coaxes this figure forward, a folded
triangle wearing a moon-coloured coat.
Let’s take off our shoes, enter the house.
It must be warmer inside.
Chimney smoke rises. Well past midnight
parlour candles fog these mullioned windows.
Perhaps, in the confusion of land and water,
this garden well past summer became a river
complete with gondolier.
You can see an oar’s stuck to its shadow,
a figure land-bound.
Judith Skillman’s recent book is Came Home to Winter, Deerbrook Editions. She is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust & Academy of American Poets. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Cimarron Review, Zyzzyva, Nasty Women Poets & elsewhere. Visit www.judithskillman.com
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