The last full moon of February

stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.

Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west

stealthily changing position


until now, in the small hours, across the snow

it advances on my pillow

to wake me, not rudely like the sun

but with the cocked gun of silence.


I am alone in a vast room

where a vain woman once slept.

The moon, in pale buckskins, crouches

on guard beside her bed.


Slowly the light wanes, the snow will melt

and all the fences thrum in the spring breeze

but not until that sleeper, trapped

in my body, turns and turns.

  • Jane Cooper, "Hunger Moon" from The Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed. Copyright © 2000 by Jane Cooper.  Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

  • Source: The Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2000)

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