Skip to content

Michael Sowder – Ⅱ

Aidan Looks at the Moon





After the bugling of the elk,

the dinner and turning in,

I got up late and went out

in the field for you


were crying, inconsolably,

until we

stepped across

the threshold


where September poured over us

with scent of sage

in Teton Valley

and you were hushed.


In the moon-lacquered dark

where the aspens

quaked with owls,


I looked and saw you

awake in my arms,

five-months old,

your eyes like pearls

staring at the moon—

that lantern lighting

field and continent—


the first time in your life to see

the famous orb—which lit

the plains of Troy,

that face implored by Sappho and Sidney,

which Li Po leapt for—drunk

and drowning—crone of Whitman,

Hecate to Plath.

O  Ariel, O huntress,

light this boy’s nights

when he camps in these mountains

or comes home late from cards

or loving, honey-moon

and housewarming,

and when he grows past

all my wanderings, soften

his sleepless nights,


as you have mine

when I walk the house

in the dark

and find you suddenly

in a window

reminding that beyond

whatever carapace

of longing or fear

I’ve wrapped around myself,

something still calls to me from a home

where the elk steps in the river.