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By Kathleen Jamie

Last night, when the moon

slipped into my attic room

as an oblong of light,

I sensed she’d come to commiserate.


It was August. She traveled

with a small valise

of darkness, and the first few stars

returning to the northern sky,


and my room, it seemed,

had missed her. She pretended

an interest in the bookcase

while other objects


stirred, as in a rock pool,

with unexpected life:

strings of beads in their green bowl gleamed,

the paper-crowded desk;


the books, too, appeared inclined

to open and confess.

Being sure the moon

harbored some intention,


I waited; watched for an age

her cool gaze shift

first toward a flower sketch

pinned on the far wall


then glide down to recline

along the pinewood floor,

before I’d had enough. Moon,

I said, We’re both scarred now.


Are they quite beyond you,

the simple words of love? Say them.

You are not my mother;

with my mother, I waited unto death.


Source: Poetry (October 2012)

  • Love
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Kathleen Jamie
Born in the west of Scotland, Kathleen Jamie studied philosophy at Edinburgh University. At 19 she won the prestigious Eric Gregory Award, which enabled her to explore the Himalayas. Jamie resists being identified solely as a Scottish poet, a woman writer, or a nature poet. Instead, she aims for her poetry to “provide a sort of connective tissue,” as she notes in a 2005 interview. See More By This Poet

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