Scrape of moon on maple leaves and
on blue cliff stone,
full moon, so far away as to be the moon
of some future life, bright, gelid glow
around 5:30 am, feast of Therese
(Martin) of Liseux, mother dead at five,
four sisters not making adulthood,
her small, boxed-in, black-wimpled face, that moon, tuberculosis.
The tomatoes we’ve hauled out of the garden
in sacks these last weeks, seven inches, some, across,
none split. Bag after bag.
Cat food sodden in the dish at the back door after rain.
Next night a demon wind licks through
and in the morning, before dawn,
a giant maple leaf sways just above the deck
in a torn spider web. This is the Feast
of the Guardian Angels, whose mouths
are wound over our minds,
warming individual letters of their alphabet
and ours, which then wake in us and move.
Tim Lilburn is the author of nine books of poetry, including Orphic Politics and Kill-site and two essay collections, Living in the World as if It Were Home and Going Home. He teaches at the University of Victoria, Canada.