The Moon as Life's Cycle (Susan Berrin)

A crescent kisses
her forehead
as she sucks from a moon-breast.
Each morning she sings God's praises.
And then
her toddler legs, stout and solid,
propel her through the afternoon
into evening's diffuse light.

Adolescence waxes
alternating cycles of good night cuddles
and indignant daytime demands.
She blossoms with the spring garden
flowers purple with the chives
bleeds with the moon.

At full moon,
she feeds her round faced children
and beds them down
warmed by a particular, succulent love.
And when shreds of coherency fade into a tomorrow
of weary eyes,
that milky pause of the earth's ceiling says,

Waning moon, wandering woman
Blood draining from the moon's face.
Her shadow crosses the wide prairie.
She is, as ever,
a soulful searcher
honoring life's cycles
by the moon's turning.
She lays down with
a full black sky
while a crescent hovers
and kisses her grave.

Susan Berrin is an author and feminist scholar as well as the editor of Sh'ma. This poem is from her book Celebrating the New Moon: A Rosh Chodesh Anthology (Jason Aronson, 1996), p. 159-60.

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