The Children’s Moon…
Our tales – yours, mine, all of ours –
they have no purpose, no meaning
with no one to share them with …perhaps
that is why I would tell them to you –
You, sitting with me this eve,
leaning against the chair’s arm,
wrapped in my old flannel; music,
tuned so quiet it can barely be heard
drifting from the old Sherwood –
and I would tell tonight the tale
of The Children’s Moon…
…when I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse…
a different tale my dear –
or is it?
Back to our tale – When I was a child
my father, like many fathers, told stories
on occasion. Many are far too dark
for this night’s purpose; tales full
of men and women starving themselves,
of men and women – children even –
hurled to lions by Romans to honor
a loving god who still secretly terrifies
me – pieces of my night terrors.
But this tale – this tale was different;
which may be why I still remember it.
It has been known to me as far back
through my life as I can stretch
when he told it, I do not know – snapshots
of the sky and this moon, a mental photograph
as old as my earliest Vermont days.
I must have been five – perhaps less –
when first I learned it.
So lost is the event, I can tell nether time
of year, nor season – I can tell you though
it was not yet dark.
I can only guess that in my youth
I looked to the sky at some point and said
“See the Moon!?” – or if young enough –
“What is that!?”
The answer ran something like this: “That
is the Children’s Moon Brendan. …do you know why
it is called the Children’s Moon?”
Answering in the negative earned this reply;
“Most times the Moon lies hidden, showing herself
only after all good children have gone to their beds
and are sound asleep.
…but every now and then she will make an exception –
visiting us early so that children may see, and admire,
her beauty; otherwise she would be selfish, and the Moon
is not selfish.
It is on those days that you will see
The Children’s Moon – should you see her
at any other time – well, you are awake
much too late Brendan, you had best
be getting to bed!”
Never noticed the lessons and morals
twined throughout that little tale. Knowing father,
I would guess they were not accidental – rarely
knowing him to do anything without purpose.
In any event, you now know the tale of what,
to this very day is – and always will be –
The Children’s Moon to silly old Bones.
And if it is fair out tomorrow evening,
around 4:30 or 5:00 in your corner
of this mad little planet, take your Little People
out and look to the sky. Somewhere, you will
see a sliver of moon – looking for all the world
like Alice’s Cheshire Cat – and I in it looking down
over you staving off whatever darkness might seek
to find you – and tell them your own tale
of The Children’s Moon.
(From a letter to a friend :: drafted January 28, 2010)