By Naomi McPeters
I remember the first time I saw the moon turn to red
I was nine and staring at the sky with awe-struck wonder
With my brothers and sister beside me I was inspired,
But I wasn't really listening.
I wrote a verse, afterward, but it wasn't much
That was the first time in my life I can remember being touched
They surrounded me
Wasn't that enough?
A good remembrance...innocence... (what is that?)
Creation in all its glory
Shrouded in darkness but for one crimson eye staring back
As I gaze upon it
Voices shattering the walls of the house behind me
They can't find me.
I hate the moon for watching me as I try to slip away
I wish I could just disappear as quickly as I first came
My shadow, I want to believe is etched upon its face
My shadow, from galaxies and light years away
Doesn't make the slightest imprint from where I stand
Insignificant and small I seem
That's ok with me…
I don't need to put myself there
I can stand here small as an ant in comparison
And still be free
I don't need to align myself with some grand purpose or thing
The blood of the martyrs, the children, the immigrants, the kings,
Flows from the heavens and to my soul they scream
Shouting from the red-tinged moon staring down at me
Imagine if I walked away from them now,
I don't need to stand here and bleed
Wishing my suffering had some place in the universe's grand scheme,
Of things, had some meaning
I don't, because most times, it doesn't
Why wish it?
Would it change my pain, the fact that it lies on the storyline of time?
Or like nature, ebbing and flowing like the tide
--The Moon still abides--
For no other reason than that it has to…
Or is it like the eclipse of the moon,
Where earth's shadow falls on the very thing meant to light up our world
--I promise you I'm listening--
Shadows fall, even on the brightest light in the darkness
Does the moon ask why, or does it just shine in all its splendor?
Covered in blood though it be we still gaze upon it in wonder
Does the moon ever question the heavens of its sorrow
Or does it accept that the light will return to it tomorrow?
No room for despair…
Did anyone ever ask the moon if it suffers
In those hours when suffocated by the earth's shadow?
I remember the first time I saw the moon turn crimson
Tonight, the spectacle was no different,
But tonight, tonight, I listened
Tonight, I was alone, drenched in unspoken sorrow for the Moon,
As the whole world took pictures of its suffering...
The girl standing beside me that first night
Had witnessed the horrors of too much death with too young eyes
To see beauty in a moon
As red as the blood dripping down her mother's face
When she, too, was just nine years old
She wasn't listening. She couldn't listen
I'm so sorry, sister, that I didn't know
But tonight the Moon speaks to me of your suffering
Even now, it's so great that I can't touch it
You live in the shadows, forever blocking the sunlight's reflection
I still sorrow over your unspoken suffering
I still hear the screams of those others dying in darkness
Those that cannot fathom, cannot remember what true light is,
I can still see the aching of the whole human race
Occasionally reflected on this ghostly midnight face
As a reminder to be still in this moment of pain
To be still, no matter how grand this moment may seem
I promise you, red moon--blood moon,
That tonight, I am listening.