Pale Moon

David Sapp

When I was a child

the moon appeared only

in the night, in storybooks,

through a window and surrounded

by thick, inky black;

it was full, ripe,

and radiant in October,

setting the cornfields ablaze,

flaming seas of rippling, golden ribbon.


I would gaze at the moon’s 

scarred, pale expression 

and wonder if its face

was ever smooth

like an unchipped china saucer 

first brought down from

a high cupboard shelf.


I would squint through the telescope 

on warm summer nights

for a glimpse

of the astronauts’ craft buzzing 

around the moon’s head;

if the moon had arms 

and quick hands,

it could swat

at the shiny, irksome fly.

I cannot recall when

I first noticed the moon

on an early morning,

and even now I’m distracted 

by its thin, diaphanous

bit of fabric clinging

to pallid, blue skin

and slipping,

as the sun nears,

from the shoulders of the sky 

to the floor of the horizon.