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.
Buy John Updike's Endpoint from Amazon here.
Buy John Updike's Endpoint from Indiebound here.
Visit poem-a-day.knopfdoubleday.com for more about this poem and to sign up for Knopf's 2010 Poem-a-Day email.
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.