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14th Aug 13

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Jean Harrison (     - 2020)


Woman on the Moon

This is the longest night I’ve ever faced.
I’m putting it off while I write to you
watching blues creep up.
The earth has been huge in our sky all day
and as it sank, I felt I could reach out
and touch you, but all the time indigo
was seeping into the valley.
Now it’s flooded and the hills
are like shadowed snow.
An hour ago we spoke by satellite.
You told me all you’d been doing.
I said I’d being X-raying moonrock
and you went quiet; that I’d been walking
and my footsteps would lie there always,
that there’s no wind
and you said, ‘There must be.’
I said, ‘The light that comes here from earth
is blue and I’m losing it. Nights here
are as long as fourteen days on earth,’
and you said, ‘That doesn’t make sense.’
It should soon be time for your father
to give you your supper and afterwards
both of you will go into the garden
but I’ll be on the side of the moon
that’s turning towards space.

Jean Harrison

published in The North, 2003
and The Forward Book of Poetry, 2004