Wishful Moon

by Larry Gaffney

Earth and Moon

Over the ocean sat the moon,
Admiring his reflection.
Upon the shore, an old baboon
Enjoyed the night’s perfection.

Eructations from a toad
Conspired with nightbirds cheeping,
To weave a dreamy, wordless ode,
While dewy shrubs stood weeping.

“Such beauty!” said the moon,
“Such life!  I want to be there in it!
I’ll quit this infinite lagoon,
And join the Earth this minute.

I want to bathe in tepid seas,
And on my pocked face feel
The lapping waves, night’s breathy breeze,
The nuzzle of a seal!

I crave the scent of ripened plums,
I long to feel the touch
Of lizard feet and kitten tongues,
I want this very much!”

Venus, sister to the Earth,
Observed, with some dismay,
The Moon’s intent to leave its berth,
And cried, “Oh, Moon, please stay!”

Mars, ever greedy for a fight,
Incarnadine with fury,
Said, “Your action I’ll indict,
Then be both judge and jury.”

Out beyond the asteroid belt,
Jove smiled indulgently,
Recalling that he’d often felt
There was a better place to be.

Saturn had no sympathy
For Moon’s imaginings.
“Accept your lot in space, like me,
Imprisoned by these icy rings.”

In the deepest realm of space,
Neptune and Uranus
Agreed that Moon should stay in place,
Or else be known as heinous.

Mercury said, “Moon, you’re bold.
I wish I had your post.
One half of me is freezing cold;
The other half is toast.”

Pluto muttered, “Don’t ask me.
I’ve drifted out too far.
The Earth and Moon I cannot see.
The Sun’s a distant star.”

Consult the Sun?  No planet dared.
Old Sol should not be baited.
For suns occasionally flared,
And worlds could be cremated.

Earth said, at last, “Dear friends of mine,
“I thank you all for caring,
But Moon is stuck.  He can’t resign
The orbit that we’re sharing.

Celestial arithmetic
Is rigid and sublime.
Moon’s acting like a lunatic.
He does this all the time.”

When Moon heard this he merely shrugged,
And gazed at stellar lights.
For eons gravity had tugged
At worlds and satellites.

Eternity, with quiet mirth,
Would cleave away the space
Between the Moon and haughty Earth.
In time, they would embrace.

Copyright © 2004, Larry Gaffney

Larry Gaffney is a professor of English at Lock Haven University (PA), and has been published in Light Quarterly, The Iconoclast, The Raven Chronicles, and elsewhere.

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Image courtesy of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey