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War Moon

rising up from nothing
in the dark fields of ourselves.
—Linda Hogan

A child disappears
in the rubble, light

from the desert moon
a glittering scrap

of cloth from her mother’s
dress held tight

as she ran. I bend
to pick her up, to cradle

her small body shaken
loose from the world.

In the dream other dreams
shatter and the ground

fails to hold me, nothing
but a blue glow at dusk

and stars falling
in the fields, the moon

floating in black trees
like a voice with no body.

Janet E. Aalfs , poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts (2003–2005), is the author of Reach (Perugia Press, 1999) and Red(self-published, 2001). She won first prize in the 2004 Boston Herald poetry contest judged by Alice Quinn of the New Yorker.

2004, Volume 56, Issue 07 (December)
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