Hadley Hury’s most recent poem to appear here was “Dailiness” (October 2016)
Following the Moon
By Hadley Hury
As we watch the seasons pass
we try to believe in the rightness of letting go—
but what we always want is to keep.
Since you first showed me almost three decades ago
what happiness could really be,
it’s become a restless ambition—
we want it always, for the rest of our lives, forever.
Despite believing that we will always be drawn by it
as the moon-track seems to draw a boat across the water
and that once we know, we know,
we keep having to remember that the hardest thing is not to let such happiness make us sad.
Tonight as we linger on the porch,
delaying dinner and sipping our drinks,
I in the rocker and you in your swing,
I watch the plump full moon, a worldly boulevardier,
saunter up behind you through the old white oak,
his apricot complexion flushed with a wry smile and tipsy wit—
but then suddenly he rises, thinner, paler,
more innocent, more lithe and somehow younger,
his constant changes imperceptible
unless you’ve looked away for a second.
He quickens his pace upward, beyond time,
leaving his sophisticated past behind,
exchanging a personality that commands attention
for a presence that reveals—
and for a few moments as you give that little laugh
that’s something between a syllable and a sigh,
gently frames your head with such a perfect halo
I feel I might reach out and touch it.