Literary Hook: Poem: ‘Queen of the Night’

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Queen of the Night

Shrine of clouds, red halo around the moon,

opalescent obelisk enshrouded,

and Venus, just below, like a handmaiden.

Such a lyrical night on Admirality Inlet

where I am carrying a sackful of laundry

and pocketful of quarters,

walking down a path alone here

at Fort Warden, now a park and arts center.

As if this weren’t miracle enough,

as I walk up the path, returning with

clean underwear, sweet smelling and bleached,

three deer nibble grass at my cottage door.

Mother and fawn keep their distance

while the bolder young buck stands, stares,

and steps closer. I whisper and step closer, too.

Brown eyes lock under the Queen of Night sky.

The buck twitches his ear, blinks

and tiptoes away. Inky clouds cover

the moon completely and all is shadow

and silhouettes. Venus gets off her knee,

traveling incognito under a cloud front

blowing into the bay. All that remains

is a foghorn, a chilly September breeze,

the vast, dreamy indigo night.

Published in Soundings, then The Alleluia Tree.

From the Sept. 10-16, 2014, issue

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