In the early moonrise a few etched peaks
stand out against the backdrop
of the days final shrug of light
floating over the swales and low arched hills.
Someone’s mother sweeps hair from her eyes
with flour dusted hands.
The faint patina of her careworn dress
is dull, blue in light yellowed by frayed curtains.
The windows drain weak streams of light across the sallow lawn.
On the meager hillside sheep are a flock of curdling clouds
as the dogs move them in for the night, braying and bells the only sounds,
the dogs work with the calm confident silence of experts.
Someone’s mother will lean in the doorway and watch
this august parade of sun, moon, sheep, clouds, stars,
and wonder how it has come to this. If she is a prisoner,
what is her freedom worth?
She will close the door. The night goes on,
quiet fields rustle in peace beneath the sparks of heaven.
Inside the fire dissolves into cinders,
floorboards release their tension,
a gauzy breeze floats dust motes.
Why should she lie awake?
The dogs are at her feet
sheep have settled for the night.
The moon will sweep through the rimless dark.
Morning will rise,
she will see herself in its glass clouds
and know it is not too late.