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what i learned in sunday school

(photo by Adrien Broom)


for briana 2-14-13

science cannot know the moon

i know

cannot see beyond reflection,

past the borrowed light

she gives the world,

to her secret heart

and the glow she saves for we who follow

if my mother spoke true


legend cannot know the moon

i know

as her cycle calls the wolves

to bite

this wretched, bloody charge

does not become

my giving moon

who showers sun and earth

with beams

for a bruised corona

a damaged atmosphere

the essential third

whose blood will serve

not to rend

but bind


does she draw, as they say,

the water from the seas?

a magnet

pulling, pushing the tides

and redder flows

or is it me that orders

the moon?

could i be so arrogant

to think:

her sea of tranquility

is mine to swim

at will?


my mother was right

of course.


a child, five or seven

‘look, mommy, she’s following me.’

driving home from religion

in autumn,

‘no, honey,’ she said,

‘it’s you who follows

the moon.’


67442198_10156972700154331_3023156135952646144_n[2] Tony Palmieri is a poet, fiction writer, and beautifier of the world. He used to do (nationally-applauded) wedding flowers, and now he does cakes (and study walls and stage sets and flowers again, but in front yards this time). He is onstage sometimes, and off-stage at others. For more of his writing, try “Sweet Tooth,” in Big Ugly Review.

Filed under: poetry, writing

About the Author

Posted by

I write fantasy and gothic romance. I also happen to have cerebral palsy, two husbands, and a deep affection for Tim Curry. Some of my favorite books are by Daphne du Maurier, Bram Stoker, Thomas Hardy, Sarah Waters, and Stephen King. If you would like to buy me a coffee, I'd totally drink it:

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