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By Noah Buchholz

Translated by John Lee Clark

That night the moon rose

in the window. Its light

touched the pane and spread

over the floor. The girls

climbed out of their beds

and gathered in the glow,

where their hands came alive.

Their chatter filled their chests

with such gladness it flowed

out past the sentry girl

at the door and down

the corridor until it struck

the matron’s ears. She rocked

forward, enraged, and thundered up

the corridor. The sentry girl

gave the alarm. They flew

for their beds. The matron

burst in. Her arm swung

and connected. A girl dropped.

The hand of the moon

went to the girl, tapping

her on the shoulder, tapping

to no avail. It withdrew,

gliding back to the window

and out. When the sun

came up, its blaze seething

into the floor, the girls

gathered again at the window.

They watched as the gardener

dug a hole. His shovel

thrust firmly in the ground,

he lifted a covered figure

and let drop. Its arms

were crossed as it tumbled

to the bottom. The gardener

grimaced and covered the hole.

That night the moon rose

in the window. Its light

touched the pane and spread

over the floor. The girls

climbed out of their beds

and gathered in the glow,

where their hands came alive.

 


Translated from the American Sign Language

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Noah Buchholz
Noah Buchholz is professor of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at Bethel College in Indiana. He is a Certified Deaf Interpreter and travels internationally performing and presenting about Deaf culture and Deaf theology.

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