The gentle gibbous moon
Is an oval portrait of itself in soft focus,
Exposing the hidden mistiness in the air,
Hanging on the faded pale-gray wallpaper sky;
It is a luminous white balloon
Floating fearlessly above the jagged outline of the cliff,
Above the ponderosas bristling with porcupine hands...
The paper birches, several trunks densely clumped,
Have flung off their old yellow jackets
And do their stretches in white clothes,
Snow-white, but showing just a touch, a hint,
Of their warm underbark in one or two places;
Their white arms reach up and out,
Graceful above the old gray boulders
Circle-wagoned around them
By some yard-maker with a big machine...
A lavish crop of snowberries, brave and bright,
Spangles the dull twigs of a big bush,
Shining among the scruffy leftover leaves
Like drops of fresh white paint;
They hang by ones, by twos, by severals,
Fat and lovely ornaments
Above the dark ivy on the dark stones...
Here on Earth’s rotating breast,
The slowly deepening colors sink
Into ever more tenebrious tones,
The tan to burnt umber,
The gray to somber murk,
The green to nearly black,
As night gets mixed into every color on the palette...
Except the white things.
For a while in the twilight,
They seem to give off light instead of slurp it up.
Nothing stains their beauty.
No matter who is not looking,
They remain true to their whiteness,
A prayer for those of us with divided hearts.