Thunder Moon by J. Archer

1. Thunder Moon

Tonight, we see the Thunder
Moon stretch a shallow arc
Across the sky. My children
Are safe in their beds, all of
Them still awake; still
Whispering summer secrets.
And that moon is the color
Of tea stains on a white
Paper napkin, where my
Mother has laid the Lipton
Tea bag to rest- the liquid
Slowly spreading to a rough
Approximation; or the color
Of her fingers, years of
Smoking Tarrytons and the
Messes of child-rearing; the
Grease and the tar and the
Sin. She found Jesus, way
Back when- when her teeth
Resembled that color, before
We were monied enough for
Cosmetic fixes- during the
Times when we were thrilled
That the essentials were
Covered- back then, we’d
Sit in the back yard on Coyle
Street- a ten by ten haven from
The ravenous city, behind our
Brick row house- with our
Neighbors all around, and we’d
Lift our arms when the wind blew
And crack jokes about the heat.
Once, while playing trivial pursuit,
My mother told me “Son,”
Over cup of Lipton tea and
In a haze of cigarette smoke,
“Be patient.” “I know, I know,”
I said, an astute six or seven
Year old, “patience is a virgin.”
And how the neighbors laughed
And laughed, because every joke
Is better when you’re outside in
The heat, below the summer moon-
Even the unintentional, or maybe
Especially. But I’ve never seen a
Moon quite the color as this.
Maybe I needed my Mother
to have died for this moon-
For the tea stained, cigarette smoked,
Kiddos-tucked-safely-but-still-
Whispering-Moon to mean what
It means tonight.

Writer, Poet, Songwriter James Archer believes that contemplation leads to revelation, and that somewhere between most and all revelations are things that are obvious, or should have been. He likes the ocean, and dislikes rules, and is very fond of both cheese and fudge, separately. He is stuck in the middle of this beautiful and terrifying culture, just like you.

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