BY THE LIGHT
OF THE SILVERY MOON
The luminescent moon, now full,
is wrapped in gauze tonight—
its circumference blurred as memory.
I grew up believing it was an ethereal
thing, a mystery that enticed romance
and speculation. It was a magical body
of light to be reached for but never grasped.
Now astronauts have walked on it, planted
flags, left behind earthly debris. Once we
wished upon it, watched it turn blue, or
grew uneasy when it appeared splotched
with blood. Tonight I decide to forget
what I know and to instead embrace it
as I once embraced my teenage girlfriend
when parked beneath the moon in my 41 Ford.
Danville, Illinois 1957
When I was young
I was beautiful.
My father said I was too
pretty to be a boy.
Mother took me to piano
and voice lessons,
to dance classes and recitals.
She sewed my costumes.
My father hunted, fished,
and, rumors had it, womanized.
He worked in his shop building
things, cursed when things went
wrong, tinkered with motors,
and smoked Luckies.
Mother combed my hair
and told me I looked like Tabb Hunter.
How she wept my junior year
when, while doing the wash,
she found a pack of Trojans
in my jeans. I remember
Father had his head under the hood
of the Buick adjusting the carburetor.
I have always imagined that
a smile finally found its way to his lips.