“An awesome big and beautiful orange moon rising tonight.”

Our aging porch creaks out grief
beneath my father’s footsteps. He turns
his heavy eyes to the spill on the horizon,
to the
         awesome big beautiful orange moon.

The wood beneath his hands is
faithful and worn. My father’s knees
ache going down the steps and he
stops, two heavy work boots
on gravel pointed East.

The big and beautiful orange moon
pauses, resting her heavy eyes
for a moment on his.
She cries,
where is my daughter,
where is my son?
Not so long ago there were
four blue butterfly nets
raspberry brambles
an herb garden littered with bones
of birds and a fishing pole made
of twigs and string, clutched
between ardent hands.
Remember when the dog
killed the duck and
my daughter cried — how after,
she learned the word ending.
Remember races through cornfields,
calloused feet. The birds brought home
dead from the barns. Where is my
proud young boy with his kill?

               “Probably the last moon rising from our front yard that I’ll see.”

The last moon is pulled away.

Sky darkens and cool air settles
on the back of my father’s hands. He
heads inside.
Far, far away, I am full of a yell for
what I left scattered
in the yard.

 

Kelly Zhou