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