Poem-a-Day Collection (2)

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Poem-a-Day Collection
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COPYRIGHT
Poem-a-Day Collection by Knopf. Compilation copyright 2009 by Knopf.
All Rights Reserved. Sharing not permitted.


Half Moon, Small Cloud

by John Updike

Caught out in daylight, a rabbit's
transparent pallor, the moon
is paired with a cloud of equal weight:
the heavenly congruence startles.

For what is the moon, that it haunts us,
this impudent companion immigrated
from the system's less fortunate margins,
the realm of dust collected in orbs?

We grow up as children with it, a nursemaid
of a bonneted sort, round-faced and kind,
not burning too close like parents, or too far
to spare even a glance, like movie stars.

No star but in the zodiac of stars,
a stranger there, too big, it begs for love
(the man in it) and yet is diaphanous,
its thereness as mysterious as ours.

--

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Excerpt from ENDPOINT. Copyright © 2009 by John Updike. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.




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