The Waning Moon

Day 1.


This morning three magpies float silently from the spruce trees by the graveyard.

Voiceless, they are ghosts of their summer selves drifting across the faded sky.


Snow sifts down, cold dust.


Full moon tonight, Orion high, Sirius brilliant at his heel. Sky clear except for wisps of

cloud to the northeast. Somewhere south a single coyote calls. A cold small wind blows

from the west. I walk east towards the grid road, into the immense dark.


Tiny lights blink in the snow — moonlight refracted.



Day 2.


I walk to the grid road, then back and along under the elms, their shadows falling black

and contorted on the moonlit snow. The stars are distant, not netted in branches the way

they were last year.


Everything’s black and white. Ankles chafed, I go in.



Day 3.


Sky mottled with cloud, trees grizzled with hoarfrost. The morning sun is a pale gold coin

haloed with silver, its light muffled, colourless as the moon’s. Wind pushes me along.

Walking in my new boots and Beverly’s down coat all I hear is myself: feet crunching on

snow, the lisp of fabric on fabric. As I reach the grid road the land flings itself open in front

of me, huge and strange.


Who knew it was a pleasure to feel so small?



Day 4.


The white eye of the sun slides back behind clouds. Chickadees follow me to the

graveyard. I sit on the snow-cushioned pink bench, holding out peanuts till my fingers

burn with cold. After supper it’s still cloudy, still cold. I walk anyway.


No moon. The dark leans in.