In honor of the cloud obscured eclipse last night, here is a poem I wrote when I watched one in 2008 from my North Carolina porch.

lunar eclipse

late last night I leaned against a porch pillar
wrapped in my grandmother’s afghan
and watched the earth’s shadow
creep across the face of the moon.

a falling star,
floating wisps of clouds,
the tintabulation of a windchime
wafting through the air waves
accompanied the show,
overlayed by the occasional car accelerating by…
oblivious.

the moon appeared more
three-dimensional than usual;
like a member of a sixth-grade
styrofoam planetary mobile
suspended by fishline
from a coat hanger.

a woman came out of her house
down the street in her bathrobe,
stepped onto her sidewalk
and looked up
then turned and went back inside,
clicking the deadbolt behind her;
look at lunar eclipse,
check.

juxtaposed, but not observed,
a rocket, shot from a ship in the ocean
on the other side of the continent,
hit its target dead on,
blowing up an errant spy satellite.

late last night I leaned against a porch pillar
wrapped in my grandmother’s afghan
and watched the earth’s shadow
creep across the face of the moon.

gretchen staebler
february 20. 2008