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Monday, October 12, 2020


by Juditha Dowd

Moon Behind the Oak, a photograph by Alinore Rose

Instead I watched the moon. I watched the moon climb up
the branches of the Rosenbauers’ oak and lift off into open sky.
By then a few stars and planets had pierced the urban night,
their sparkle suggesting forward movement as I viewed them
alone from our porch—it seemed they were headed somewhere.
Soon I was so caught up in thinking about their voyage
I forgot about the frost and the ruined tomatoes and the ruin
of where we’re headed here on earth, driven by barking dogs.
Is it better now that we understand the stars? Was it easier to believe
that all is preordained and all we need to do is bow our heads
and go along? I watched the moon find the windows of every house
on our block. Same moon, same light. I watched until it crested
and fell down our hill toward the college. Then there was nothing
to do but go back in.

Juditha Dowd’s latest book is Audubon’s Sparrow (Rose Metal Press, 2020).