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Eclipse of the Moon
Mary Susanah Robbins
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because we heard an angel, and one doesn't
see angels much in these parts. Besides,
the crops were good this year — why not
take something along in thanks for the vision,
And in the manger
a child through a clouded window
sees ferns, solid and bending, against the blue.
Do we have clearer eyes, seeing
Before any celebration or birth, far lands,
gifts? Or is it only that in this house,
in the cowshed, in the shepherd's hut, some
musical mysterious home-light silvers
the bright and awful dream of day to day?
(Return to Contents)
Sometimes when it gets too much
the pulse, when on rainy late afternoons
it shakes at nothing, and nothing will quench it,
it is well to remember other dark days
when halos of radiance swung in other rooms,
and comfort was seeing — green kitchens
thick with chatter and laughter, where
absorption and alienation mingled in camaraderie
of spirit, and in the mind shook someone
to comfort, life being all it is, a touch, a
a silence to dwell on for generations,
heavy shoulders shaken — oh then we could shake
for the war, for our fathers, for memories,
or how to absorb acceptance, the pen once thrust,
I am here, I have duties, I sing
in the shallow rooms, like an underground moon,
it's not a willful negation, only
sometimes it shakes and loses continuity,
and sometimes only tiredness can tell me
that I lived otherwise — and look what I have,
a whole life, pulses to shake when memory,
brushed often out of the way with soft words,
meets the situation. Do not tell me that I am
I was not fearful in crowded rooms
where strangers wept private tragedies
and the flutter of a heart could save a life
that would reappear only here, shaking
timid limbs, hands, hello, farewell.