Friday, 30 May 2008

carol ann duffy

Death and the Moon

(for Catherine Marcangeli)

The moon is nearer than where death took you
at the end of the old year. Cold as cash
in the sky's dark pocket, its hard old face
is gold a s a mask tonight. I break the ice
over the fish in my frozen pond, look up
as the ghosts of my wordless breath reach
for the stars. If I stood on the tip of my toes
and stretched, I could touch the edge of the moon.

I stooped at the lip of your open grave
to gather a fistful of earth, hard rain,
tough confetti, and tossed it down. It stuttered
like morse on the wood over your eyes, your tongue,
your soundless ears. Then as I slept my living sleep
the ground gulped you, swallowed you whole,
and though I was there when you died,
in the red cave of your widow's unbearable cry.

and measured the space between last words
and silence, I cannot say where you are. Unreachable
by prayer, even if poems are prayers. Unseeable
in the air, even if souls are stars. I turn
to the house, its windows tender with light, the moon,
surely, only as far again as the roof.the goldfish
are tongues in the water's mouth. the black night
is huge, mute, and you are further forever than that.

4 comments:

Bryan said...

This is amazing, glad you've posted it here, else I might not have heard of the poet =)

Dave King said...

I didn't know this particular poem. Thanks for introducing me to it.

mmoneypenny said...

COMMENT, COMMENT

swiss said...

it's from her book feminine gospels. glad you liked it