the archivist October 1, 2021
bare tree under full moon


Jacob Polley
Although a tide turns in the trees
       the moon doesn’t turn the leaves,
though chimneys smoke and blue concedes
       to bluer home-time dark.
Though restless leaves submerge the park
       in yellow shallows, ankle-deep,
and through each tree the moon shows, halved
       or quartered or complete,
the moon’s no fruit and has no seed,
       and turns no tide of leaves on paths
that still persist but do not lead
       where they did before dark.
Although the moonstruck pond stares hard
       the moon looks elsewhere. Manholes breathe.
Each mind’s a different, distant world
       this same moon will not leave.
Poetry, Sept. 2006

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