June 22, 2013
Because I don’t want my neighbors to think
that I am doing nothing except watch the moon
rise between the maple and the evergreens,
I place a book in my lap, put on headphones,
inch my chair a few degrees north just
to keep the moon positioned cleanly over
our little slice of suburbia. Soon a neighbor
will join me, place his lawn chair next to mine.
He sits down and begins to whittle, slicing pale
curls from a hickory branch which pool
around his feet. After the man in the moon
clears the telephone lines, misses the maples,
my neighbor asks, What are you listening to?
Nothing, I reply. Hmmmm…he says,
Maybe you should learn to whittle?
Are you going to teach me? I ask.
Sure, he says, you begin by looking
at the moon…
Cathryn Essinger is the author of three prize winning books of poetry: A Desk in the Elephant House, My Dog Does Not Read Plato, and What I Know About Innocence. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals, from Midwest Gothic to The Southern Review, The Antioch Review and Poetry. She is a retired Professor of English and a member of The Greenville Poets, from Greenville, Ohio.