The Moon Is Small Tonight
by Gay Baines

The moon is small tonight,
lemon-shaped. Earth is prisoned
in white; the pane is cold, shutters
cold, sky black. It is as if ice
pours from the moon, its squeezed
juice frozen tears. Yet we know
the sun’s light is hot, that on the moon’s
dusty surface nothing stirs. It cannot
turn away from the heat. It is fixed in
its yearly, loping, moon-by-moon
course, and shows the same
bright cheek in slices, night after day
after night, whether we see it or not.
As we turn away, the sun takes its heat
away from us. The dim glow from the
moon’s hot face runs through the prism
like black water. To gaze at a partial
moon on a warm summer afternoon
and see a soft body, a beneficent presence
in the teal sky is folly.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.

Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York where she is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She holds a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY – Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes.

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