The Woman in the Moon

Woman in the Moon Darlings, I write to you from the moon
where I hide behind famous light.
How could you think it was ever a man up here?
A cow jumped over. The dish ran away with the spoon.
What reached me here were your prayers, griefs,
here’s the craic, losses and longings, your lives
so brief, mine long, long, a talented loneliness.
I must have a thousand names for the earth, my blue vocation.
Round I go, the moon a diet of light, sliver of pear,
wedge of lemon, slice of melon, half an orange, onion;
your human music falling like petals through space,
the childbirth song, the lover’s song, the song of death.
Devoted as words to things, I stare and stare;
deserts where forests were, vanishing seas. When your night comes,
I see you staring back as though you can hear my Darlings,
what have you done, what you have done to the earth?

Carol Ann Duffy

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