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The Jeanne Crandall Broulik Memorial Prize

Libby Bernadin

 

On the Isle of Palms in the Month of No Moon

There’s never been a month without the moon,
at least not for me. I see no stars in the sky,
only blackness, though lights flicker on the horizon,
ships in the middle of the world keeping a steady course.
You can’t wonder with me as I long for this lunar crumb.
No matter how I want it, you can no longer talk
with me, eat the apple pie, drink the merlot you loved.

This morning an old seagull flew near,
landed in front of me a few paces and waited,
the way you did when I stooped to salvage
a scallop from a bed of tawny bits of shell.

In this stillness tonight, I am like a young
girl pleading under a February sky
until clouds clear: Give me a moon,
ladle my cup with layers of white beams
as though to crush this dreadful roar,
waiting for an eastward limb of lunar light.